Positive changes in the demographic situation, as well as the multinational composition of the population give rise to particular concerns about cultural issues in medicine. Effective doctor-patient interaction is associated with increased patient satisfaction, adherence to recommendations, and a subsequent health improvement. Many people think of cultural competence only as a set of skills needed to overcome linguistic and cultural barriers. While this aspect is, indeed, important, it is far from the only one that matters. The proper culture care includes a deep understanding of different social insights from a wide variety of national backgrounds combined with immersive knowledge of the most important traditions and particular qualities of various communities. Markey (2020) makes a good point that “examining cultural competence development through a moral reasoning lens can help empower nurses, whilst nurturing commitment and courage to providing quality care that meets the needs of culturally diverse patients” (p. 2). My experience of working with a diverse patient population makes me understand that in order to employ a proper culture care one, indeed, must be culturally competent.
Cultural competency in nursing applies to the patients, their families, and one’s colleagues. Nurses have the unique opportunity to witness patients and their families at their most vulnerable moments. Therefore, it is imperative that they understand and respect their culture in order to deliver high quality, compassionate care. Kaihlanen et al. (2019) explicitly state that “a lack of cultural understanding increases negative attitudes towards cross-cultural care and also affects healthcare professionals’ perceived preparedness to take care of culturally diverse patients” (p. 2). I think that the importance of an elaborate and comprehensive study of cultural differences cannot be stressed enough, so I personally strive to learn as much as possible about the cultures of the world so that I can and employ this knowledge in my future work.
Kaihlanen, A.-M., Hietapakka, L., & Heponiemi, T. (2019). Increasing cultural awareness: Qualitative study of nurses’ perceptions about cultural competence training. BMC Nursing, 18(1). Web.
Markey, K. (2020). Moral reasoning as a catalyst for cultural competence and culturally responsive care. Nursing Philosophy, 22(1). Web.