Cultural competency assessment


Globalization has contributed to increased world mobility of people; as a result, the patient population has increasingly become diverse, but the nursing force is little changed. Hence, it is clear that nurses work with patients from different cultural background. Consequently, nurses are faced with a challenge of providing health care that is culturally diverse. This experience, therefore, has called for the development of cultural competency in the nursing practice. Thus, making nurses key players in implementing the cultural competency in the healthcare sector. Their implementation of the cultural competency skills revolutionizes the health care system at all levels. Although the revolution demands patience, time, and persistence, it results to a better and improved health care (Saha, Beach & Cooper, 2008). Therefore, leading in satisfaction of the both patient and the healthcare provider. The article then aims at investigating how the Cultural Competency Assessment affects nursing care.

The quality of the nursing care given to patients from the southern part of Mexico is likely to be affected by some factors which may include; lack of insurance policies, language barrier, diverse cultural health beliefs, mistrust, and often illegal immigrant status. The majority of immigrants from Mexico lack health insurance policies thus very few afford specialized healthcare. Failure to afford specialized healthcare hence affects the quality of nursing care received by patients from such regions. Besides, the language barrier is another factor which significantly affects the quality of nursing care received by patients from Mexico. The majority of hospitals in California lack professional interpreters and thus led to over-reliance of family members to interpret. The lack of professional interpreter at times causes confusion in the nursing care due to the misunderstanding of some words. 

In addition, cultural mistrust characterizes the patients from Mexico origin, therefore, the majority of patients delay to seek treatment or opt for traditional medication. Further, the majority choose self-treatment because they are used to pharmaceuticals with no prescriptions in their country. The delayed treatment worsens the illness and consequently affects the quality of nursing care given to such patients. Another factor which affects nursing care is the illegal immigrant status. The majority of illegal immigrants from Mexico fail to seek for quality nursing care for fears of being deported. Similarly, diverse cultural health beliefs hinder some of the immigrants from Mexico not to seek nursing care. Some believe their illness is a result of witchcraft and thus cannot be treated using the conventional medicine.   

As a consequence, a lot of transformation is required in the nursing practice to ensure a quality culturally competent care is given without discrimination. To achieve such a transformation in the nursing field, some adjustments such as ensuring every nurse is culturally competent must be integrated within the nursing practice. Such competency is achieved when every nurse appreciates and recognizes the cultural diversity and difference characterizing the world population today. Additionally, every nurse is encouraged to examine his/her belief system thus attaining self-awareness. Similarly, during the delivery of the service nurses should be trained to assess and describe the patient based on actual observations and facts.  On the other hand, nurses are advised to seek advice from other experienced colleagues as well as share experience to ensure communication is open and address any concern, especially when dealing with a patient from different cultural background. Besides, nurses should be trained to refrain from making any judgment founded on ignorance, limited interaction with a person from another cultural background, or personal experience.  

Moreover, every hospital in the United States should ensure it is compliant with the guidelines which were released by the Office of the Minority Health of the U.S in 2001 on the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS). The guideline was meant to ensure that capacity for cultural self-assessment characterizes every hospital in the U.S, value for diversity, institutionalized cultural knowledge, and conscious of the dynamics inherent when cultures interact, and have developed adaptations of service delivery reflecting an understanding of cultural diversity (Lipson & Desantis, 2007).

Relating to the cultural competency assessment conducted on the patient my cultural competency has significantly improved. Considering that cultural competency is essential in enhancing effective patient-centered nursing it was necessary to learn and understand various aspects of my client’s culture. While cultural aspects influence the outcomes of the patient, I realized the importance of adhering to patient’s cultural-related perspectives in nursing care.

Ignoring diversity in the field of nursing care leads to ineffective delivery of nursing services thus the outcomes may adversely affect the patient. The safety of the patient is also jeopardized.  Learning and observance of cultural diversity in nursing care influences the manner in which a health care provider renders quality services to the individuals from diverse cultures. In addition a patient from these various cultures may feel appreciated and recognized hence their response to treatment is positively affected. Learning helps a health care provider is avoiding nursing malpractices associated with cultural incompetence. Knowledge about the patient and his/her family cultural affiliation is determined through conducting cultural care assessments. Such a strategy is vital in planning and implementing health care hence facilitating positive consequences. For instance, if one makes assumptions about a patient depending on his/her physical appearance instead of performing individualized cultural assessment may result to cultural pain and loss of trust between the patient and the healthcare provider.

In conclusion, nursing care is influenced by a number of factors. One of these factors is cultural competency assessment of the patients. Nursing care should be customized to suit a patient’s cultural beliefs, values, lifestyle, practices, and traditions. Effective health care mainly occurs within the patient’s cultural perspective (Kirmayer, 2012). Similarly, nursing health care can further be enhanced through embracing diversity in workplaces. Appreciation of diversity among the health care professionals promotes workplace harmony, and this is demonstrated in the rendering of quality services to patients from diverse cultures. The development of harmony in workplace and delivery of quality health care begin with the development of diversity awareness and self-awareness. In essence, the development of personal, cultural competence and helping other health professionals in developing cultural competence is a priority in a multicultural workplace.

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  1. Kirmayer, L. (2012). Rethinking cultural competence. Transcultural Psychiatry, 49(2), 149.
  2. Lipson, J. G., & Desantis, L. A. (2007). Current approaches to integrating elements of cultural competence in nursing education. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 18(1 suppl), 10S-20S.
  3. Saha, S., Beach, M. C., & Cooper, L. A. (2008). Patient centeredness, cultural competence and healthcare quality. Journal of the National Medical Association, 100(11), 1275.
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