My philosophy in professional nursing practice is cultural competency in health provision. Due to prominent cultural diversity in the contemporary community, every professional is obliged to be culturally competent. Cultural differences are becoming outstanding challenges for many professional nurses during health promotion and provision. In the current societies, there exist patients from different cultural backgrounds. Besides, social stratification and education levels create another rift in communities. A professional nurse is responsible for reaching out to these heterogeneous communities, and meeting the individual needs. For that reason, it shall be of much importance if professional nurses do a quick survey of communities, and establish the levels of cultural diversity. They can do this by deploying members of these communities and other co-workers from other relevant departments to assist in collecting the necessary data (Croyle, 2005).
The very procedure must always be followed when providing the education-based health care at personal levels. A professional nurse must initiate a dialogue with a patient right from the day of admission in the health facility. Firstly, the family members should be involved in obtaining some information concerning the culture and preferences of the patient. This may allow a nurse an easy time to assess his or her patient. Before a nurse initiates any mode of health provision or education, cultural background, literacy level, and learning preference of a patient should always be predetermined through evidence-based practice. During health education sessions, for example, a nurse should ensure that cultural ethics are always respected. For instance, some educational videos may display nude human images that go against cultural ethics of some patients. In fact, the consent of patients should be sought before taking any sensitive step in the health education and promotion (Arlene, 2009).
As discussed above, cultural competency is achieved by professional nurse obtaining essential cultural information about a certain community, and then applies the very knowledge when handling his or her patients. To become culturally competent, a nurse needs to always understand the views of his or her patients, and compare them with the theoretical views in nursing. By so doing, a nurse shall be able to avoid stereotyping patients and misusing some of the scientific concepts on various health conditions.
Therefore, cultural competency allows a professional nurse to have a wider view of a community, and improve the quality of health services offered. A professional nurse needs to move very fast and adapt the culture of a community. Cultural awareness of nurses helps them in coming closer and listening to their patients with much understanding. According to Bazron (2002), this is how cultural competency aids the evidence-based practice.
If a nurse is relocated to a community that only speaks a certain dialect, the nurse has to first learn the dialect as this will help in talking with and understanding the patients. The knowledge of the dialect will facilitate the communication during health education. Cultural competency also plays a great role in understanding health beliefs and traditions. Different communities do have different beliefs about causes of various diseases. Therefore, it is advisable for nurses know and understand such beliefs before disapproving them to the patients. Through cultural competency, nurses get to know how cultural practices and individual behaviors affect the health of a given community. For instance, some communities believe in the culture of having many women and many children. A nurse will have to understand the reason behind the culture before offering education about family planning (Davis, 2000).
As indicated in the philosophy discussion above, my perceived view of nursing revolves around culture and health provision. In this context, cultural competency is to create a mutual understanding between a nurse and a patient. As such, I perceive a nurse as an understanding professional, who establishes and understands the causes and actions. This shall enhance more caring by the nurse, as that of Florence Nightingale.
I may describe a patient as the person who is receiving health assistance from a health provider. I do not want to stick the term to only the sick in hospitals. Health may be described as the determinant of life. Health is a wide umbrella that covers the mind, social lifestyle, cognitive ability, and physical well-being (Santrock, 2010). Nursing may be described as caring for the aforementioned facets of health in patients.
In conclusion, this worldview has influence my nursing in a significant way. The story of Florence Nightingale has inspired me to become a dedicated and a caring nurse. Before, I had overlooked the social roles a nurse. Today, my nursing tactics have changed a lot. The philosophy of cultural competency shall enhance more caring for patients.
- Arlene, L. (2009). Teaching Strategies for Health Education and Health Promotion. AJN. Boston
- Bazron B. (2002). Towards a Culturally Competent System of Care. Georgetown University. Washington DC.
- Croyle R. T. (2005). Theory at a Glance: Application to Health Promotion and Health Behavior. National Institutes of Health. U.S.
- Davis Co. Philadelphia Spector R. (2000). Cultural Care: Guide to the Heritage Assessment and Health Traditions. Pearson Education. Boston
- Long life video. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/aging.html
- Santrock, J. (2010) Essentials of Life-span Development, 4th Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill