"Mind Map and Cultural Identity" is a great example of a paper on the health system. The personal values of an individual are referred to as the attitudes as well as beliefs that are constructed as a result of an individual’ s experiences and mostly in their early life’ s and this is mainly influenced by aspects that are closer to them or which they have contact to on a daily basis, for example, their friends, ethnicity, family members, their gender as well as their class in the society. Cultural identity is termed as the identity to or feeling that one belongs to a certain group.
Thus, it is an individual’ s self-perception and self-conception and some of the elements of it include ethnicity, religion, age, family, life experiences, gender, social class, and locality, or else a kind of social group that tends to have its own diverse culture (Evangelista, 2003). My discussion will focus on four main elements and they will include life experience, gender, ethnicity, and family, and undertake a discussion on how they impact on and/or may conflict with professional interactions and practice in the health care environment. It is a common belief that cultural identity leads to a more inclusive and supportive professional environment and thus the need to appreciate the different cultural identities between the patients and the caregivers to enhance the delivery of services.
My cultural identity as an Indian female from a middle-class family has played an essential role in helping to develop and nurture values that guide my life and my profession. These values include compassion for others, having a sense of community, respect, being goal-oriented, and be focused in all these aspects has also helped me in my profession by making me a better nurse.
I tend to be aware of what the patients are facing and identify better and acknowledge the cultural differences that exist. In the nursing profession, it would be inappropriate to ignore diversity and offer incongruent nursing care since it may have adverse effects on the outcomes of the patients and at times it can also jeopardize the safety of the patients (Jeffreys, 2006). So as to avoid any trail off in the care of patients, it would be imperative to examine and understand carefully and in precise terms cultural identity in others and also in us.
Culture is termed as learned and transmitted beliefs, values, and practices of a group of people and it tends to guide the thinking, decision making as well as actions in a patterned way (Luininger, 1995). Individual’ s even the nurses make use of the culture as a framework to view the world. The respect and appreciation of cultural values, beliefs, and practices assist the nurses in understanding in better way behaviors that are culturally defined.
The set of values and beliefs that adopted are greatly influenced by my upbringing in India and also by immigration to Australia to study. By moving to Australia to study, I was disconnected from my immediate and extended family and this in a way played an essential role in expanding and enabling me to have a more defined and broad world view (Fanany & Fanany, 2012). Another value that I developed over my stay in Australia was that of compassion. When I first relocated to Australia my father was not very pleased with the move and I had to support myself by working.
The feeling of disconnection that I felt due to the distance between my nuclear family and me and the coldness I received from my father enabled me to sympathize with other students and people who seemed to be in similar or worse situations than mine. During my early years since I was brought up in a middle-class family, we interacted with our neighbors and some of them had different cultural values which helped me to embrace and take note of the diversity that exists in the world (James, 2015).
Through my stay in Australia as I was studying, I was able to interact with a number of students and people who had different cultures and were from a number of countries all over the world. Another value that I have developed over the years is respect. This value was instilled in me during my early years at home and this was mostly done by my mother since she was a stay-at-home mum.
In India where I spent my early years before moving to Australia, the status of the elders in the family was highly reconstructed due to their age as well as the wisdom that they had acquired in their life period. At times, I also made visits to my maternal grandparents and this gave me a time as well as a chance to have the utmost respect for the elders and their wide range of experiences. This also helped me in understanding my sentiments and feeling and caring for the elders and this has helped me a lot in solving some problems that I may be faced with in my profession.
As stated by McGee, 1994, respect is a fundamental concept in nursing care and a lack of respect for the patients can in some instances dehumanize the patients and can also contribute to ill-treatment and abuse. Since I work in an area where I have to receive patients from different cultures, I always base my care on the understanding of the aspect of respect. The value of respect has been beneficial to be in my profession since it aids me in having the utmost respect for all my colleagues who am working with and also have respect for the patients.
All this is aimed at enhancing the services provided to the patients and the creation of good working environments that foster service delivery (Browne & Varcoe, 2006). Of all the values that I have gained over the years, the value that I uphold most is that of being goal-oriented and focused. My history has been an interesting one, with parents trying to do away with some of the values that their families believed in such as arranged marriages and my various interactions during the stay with my parents and during my study in Australia since I have been able to interact with people from different areas of the globe who have totally different cultures from ones that I was raised up in.
All this has enabled me not to focus on the various differences that exist between people but rather to appreciate them and focus on achieving the goals that I have set to achieve (DeSouza, 2008).
In my early life, I depicted this value in the most effective manner when I traveled to study in Australia despite the lack of support from my father and had to work to survive. Though this has changed with time and my parents are even happy of my achievements and progress. This value which I derived from the experiences in my early years plays an essential role in the care offered to the patients and also in my dealing with other colleagues in my workplace.
Through this value, I tend to be more willing to help my other colleagues in the departments in the various activities involved so as to enhance service delivery which is usually a major goal that also nurses inspire to achieve. Another aspect that relates to this value of being focused and goal-oriented is offering the best kind of services to the patients irrespective of their gender, race, religion, or ethnicity. I tend to analyze the issues facing the patients and find the most appropriate way to address them.
For instance, I ensure that patients are healed by not only offering them medicine but also with advice that tends to be helpful in their day-to-day life to enhance their healing process (Thomas & Pollio, 2002). Based on the above reflection, it would be crucial to note that the various cultural identity elements and values develop as one grows up play an essential role in one future profession. Since modern-day nursing professionals are expected to work and deal with people from diverse cultures thus having various cultural identity elements that are different from their own, they need to be aware of the differences and embrace them so as to offer the best kind of services.
In my professional life as a nurse, I always adhere to the values that I have developed over time such as being goal-oriented, focused, compassionate and respectful so as to deal with the patients and issues that are likely to arise in their treatment in the most appropriate and effective manner. These values also play an essential role in ensuring that I work collaboratively with my colleagues and in the most effective manner with all patients who visit my work location for any kind of medical attention.
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DeSouza, R. (2008). Wellness for all: The possibilities of cultural safety and cultural competence in New Zealand. Journal of Research in Nursing, 13(2), 125-135.
Evangelista, M. (2003). “Culture, Identity, and Conflict: The Influence of Gender," in Conflict and Reconstruction in Multiethnic Societies. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.
Fanany, R., & Fanany, D. (2012). Health as a Social Experience. Melbourne: Palgrave Macmillan.
James, P. (2015). Despite the Terrors of Typologies: The Importance of Understanding Categories of Difference and Identity. Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 17 (2): 174–195.
Jeffreys, M. (2006). Cultural competence in clinical practice. Imprint, 53(2), 36-41.
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McGee, P. (1994). The concept of Respect in Nursing. Australian Nurses Journal 3(13), 681-4.
Thomas, S. & Pollio, H. (2002). Listening to Patients. New York: Springer.