Learning Cultural Diversity in Nursing

Here is a closer look at three skills needed to master learning cultural diversity in nursing and cultural diversity in healthcare. It is also known as multiculturalism. The diversity spoken of here goes beyond ethnicity and people of color. Marginal and or vulnerable people in society are also included.

Learning Cultural Diversity in Nursing: The 3 Helpers

Learn to Listen

Learning listening skills.
It is necessary to know the difference between hearing and the various types of listening.

Learn Curiosity

Curiosity for knowledge about the culture or the audience (read: patient) you are going to speak to. For instance, to those of other nationalities, simply ask, how do you say hello and how to say good bye. This process shows the audience (read: patient) that you are interested in them and their culture.

The cultural difference in nursing faces the same common challenge public speakers face, reaching the audience mind. In health care, nurses are teaching just one person or a few if the family are included in the education. Public speakers can be speaking more often to many, even thousands and only occasionally a few or one.

Learn to Build Rapport

Building rapport is considered an important part of subconscious human interaction.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines it as a relationship, especially of mutual trust or inherent emotional similarity or natural personal attraction.

Effective public speakers learn how to do it. Nurses can likewise master learning cultural diversity in nursing.

There may be no studies to show this yet, but theoretically, the better a nurse is able to learn cultural diversity in nursing, the better the outcomes will be in the care of the patients.

Cultural Diversity in Nursing

Cultural diversity has an impact on both health care in general and nursing specifically. The variety or the cultural makeup (multiculturalism) of a group or organization or region can have profound effects on the care they receive.

Nurses deliver their care within both social economic cultures as well as the health care culture. Culture focused assessments are essential. Mastery of cultural diversity in nursing will help.

Assessing an Emergency Room Visitor and asking if the patient had diabetes resulted in the patient looking at me like I had two heads. A more experienced nurse came up from behind and asked the patient if they had sugar. The patient said that they did. What is unique is this was not someone from a different country. It was someone from a different culture within my race. The cultural differences in nursing need to be recognized to provide the best nursing care possible.

Cultural diversity can be related to...

  • age
  • education
  • gender
  • mental disabilities
  • mores
  • physical
  • regional locations
  • sexual orientation
  • racial
  • ethnicity
  • socioeconomic background

Just as the patient with diabetes mentioned above with diabetes knew of the disease as having sugar, various cultures around the world may have different expressions for various physical, emotional and spiritual concerns. Even within the culture there may be vast differences.

My heart hurts to a North American may refer to heart attack where my heart hurts may mean emotional hurt from the loss of a loved one.

Nurses often take a pragmatic approach to working with the culture of patients and families. This approach has to be flexible to allow for differences within cultures.

More Learning Cultural Diversity in Nursing looks at the relationship of nursing and public speaking in relationship to the cultural difference in healthcare.

More on the Public Speaking Audience and how to reach them with the words you use.

Speechmastery.com Home: The Public Speaking Audience Resource

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Lets Connect View Jonathan Steele RN Holistic Nurse's profile on LinkedIn
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