Cultural Differences in Nursing – Care Example

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"Cultural Differences in Nursing" is a worthy example of a paper on care. Culture is a system of shared norms that influence the way we envision the world, experience it emotionally and behave. Cultural differences are a very significant aspect of the interview process for a medical professional. Here is a case scenario that shows how the difference in culture affects the interview process: I am a female nurse working in one of the hospitals in Georgia in the United States of America. An Indian patient, a native of Hawaii, was brought in on a day when I was on shift.

The patient was suffering from serious diarrhea and dehydration. During the interview process, the patient explained that she was having a spiritual attack since she had been self-centred and disrespectful to her parents; and all she needed was to make amends with her parents and all will be alright. I had to convince the patient that all was going to be well while I was taking her blood samples. After a laboratory examination, the patient was found to be suffering from typhoid.

I had to use the following positive and non-biased approach to the interview process as proposed by Bickley, Szilagyi, & Bates (2013) using the guidelines for ensuring cultural humility as follows: Self-awareness: According to Bickley et al. , (2013), this involves evaluating my attitudes and beliefs concerning the scenario in question. Having been raised in metropolitan Georgia, my views were purely scientific and most of what the patient said did not make sense. I was also aware that the patient needed to be convinced of her state of health so as to accept the medication I was to administer (p.

73). Respectful communication: I realized that to get through to the patient, I needed to know more about her culture and beliefs. The patient explained that a person’ s state of health is based upon a spiritual view of life. As written by Bickley et al. , (2013), an individual who is of good health has a goal and is guided by the spirit. Thus, to be healthy, one has to dedicate to the path of harmony, balance, gratitude, respect, and generosity (p.

74). This implies being fit mentally, physically, and spiritually. In regard to this case, the patient believed that going against any of the above values creates an imbalance that weakens the spirit and makes the body vulnerable to harmful spirits; this elaborated the medical culture of the Native American Indians (Cohen, 2003). Collaborative partnership: As a nurse, I had to find a way of partnering with the patient to ensure that she took her medication willingly and without forcing the patient to see her scenario from my point of view. I explained to the patient how her culture however different from mine, had a lot of similarities with my own culture.

As a medical practitioner, I was aware of the relationship between our physical wellbeing and our psychological wellbeing. I explained that whatever they considered as spirits that cause diseases, we called them germs and that we had a way of sporting them with the technology that we had. Moreover, I managed to convince the patient to take the medication besides going to make amends with her parents and to restore her spirit to balance and wholeness (Campinha-Bacote, 2003). All in all, the dimensions of cultural humility are very effective when adhered to by any medical practitioner during the interview process whenever one encounters a patient of a different cultural setting from their own.

Self-awareness ensures the medical practitioner is aware of their own biases and attitudes so as not to make quick conclusions (Kim‐Godwin, Clarke & Barton, 2001). Effective communication enables the medical practitioner to establish a conscience line of communication with the patient and to gain their trust. While collaborative partnership involves the medical practitioner seeing things from the patient's point of view before administering any treatment.


Bickley, L. S., Szilagyi, P. G., & Bates, B. (2013). Bates' guide to physical examination and history-taking. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Campinha-Bacote, J. (2002). The process of cultural competence in the delivery of healthcare serv Anderson, L. M., Scrimshaw, S. C., Fullilove, M. T., Fielding, J. E., & Normand, J. (2003).

Cohen, K. (2003). Honoring the medicine: The essential guide to Native American healing. New York: Ballantine Books.

Kim‐Godwin, Y. S., Clarke, P. N., & Barton, L. (2001). A model for the delivery of culturally competent community care. Journal of advanced nursing, 35(6), 918-925.

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