Being culturally sensitive is a very important part of being a nurse. We are called to care for the sick and be their advocates. Even if we pray and worship differently, dress differently, eat and speak differently does not mean any one of us should be treated with less respect in any part of our life. Underneath it all, we all the same in human make up. We all get sick, and we all need ways to get better and heal. Understanding what others view as important in their healing process plays a very important role in the persons care. I really feel we can all learn something from each other. Sometimes the “American way” isn’t always the best way. Even if it is, we are not to push it on someone who does not feel that way. We teach and advise and in the end let the patient make their choice.
Cultural preservation is about promoting the patients’ culture and healthy practices. An example of this would be a Chinese patient using acupuncture to relive pain as opposed to high doses of pain medications.
Cultural accommodation is working with a persons cultural beliefs in providing their care and promoting it. Jamaican cultures believe that salt can keep demons and spirits away. Allowing the patient to keep a bottle of salt at his or her bedside does not harm anyone and it demonstrates cultural accommodation by the nurse.
Cultural re-patterning involves the nursing discouraging the use of cultural practices that have been proven harmful. Some cultural practices are harmful to the patient. For example some herbs can cause harm to patients when used, for example the Msemei herb, which has been used by medicine men in Ghana to cure cough in children, has been proved to be harmful to health.
Cultural brokering is the use of cultural practices combined with the health care practices to improve the healing process of the patient. In Mexican culture many are Catholic. A person in the ICU had her grandmother visiting her. Grandmother was taking holy water from the hospital entrance and putting it on the IV site, face and in patients wound. Eventually the nurse found out what was happening and while discouraging the spiritual practice of using the “dirty” holy water, she instead encouraged that she pray and use rosary beds in place of it as the Holy water had many hands going in daily leaving a lot of bacteria.
A possible barrier is always whether or not the patient is willing to comply with what the nurse is trying to suggest. Some patients may still feel they cannot trust us and may secretly do their rituals without us knowing causing themselves harm.
Huber, Lauren. (May 2009).Making Community Healthcare Culturally Correct. Retrieved 10/18/17 from Americannursetoday.com
Actforlibraries.(2017).Cultural Competence Cultural Brokering Health Care.retrieved 10/18/17 from www.actforlibraries