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Cultural Safety In Nursing Essay

1325 words - 5 pages

The meaning of the term culture in nursing has changed significantly in recent decades. Culture may be seen as the learned, shared value and beliefs of a particular group (Spence, 2001). Cultural expression assumes many forms, including language, traditions, stress, pain, anger, sorrow, spirituality, decision making and even world philosophy (Catalano, 2006).Cultural safety is a process that involves the individual knowing of their self and their own culture, becoming aware of, respectful of, and sensitive to different cultures, asking who is at risk, preventing unsafe situations, and creating a culturally safe environment (Wood and Schwass, 1993).During my first night shift at clinical placement, I provided care for Anna (pseudonym), an 85- year old Maori lady, who was admitted to the ward following suicide attempt, which was related to the second anniversary of her husband's death. She had a 20 year history of depression. On admission Anna was agitated and fearful, stating that she could not do almost anything that was requested of her. She had some disorganized ideas. For example, she thought she would be scalded by meals, or accidentally fall out of a window.We had just finished our handover when Anna rang the bell. I went to her room and found her sitting on the chair."Good evening Anna," I said." My name is Parisa. I am your nurse tonight". Anna looked worried and replied: "I am not sure if I have enough clothes!!!. " From the handover briefing I had understood that she was worrying about not having enough clothes. So I opened the door of the wardrobe and reassured her that she had plenty of clothes. Then I told her she needed to come back to her bed and have a rest. I helped her get back into the bed.Twenty minutes later, while I was doing the ward check, I heard someone crying. The sound of crying came from Anna's room. I went to her room. It was midnight. Anna was lying alone; fearful, sad, and depressed. Left isolated, she wanted to call a nurse for help but she didn't know how to explain what she needed. " Anna, what happened?" I asked. "Are you crying?" She didn't reply. In this situation, it came into my mind that good therapeutic communication through the use of touch was very appropriate to calm her. I held her hand, looked into her eyes, and asked her if she wanted to tell me what she was thinking at the time. She replied:" I feel I am a horrible person, can't you see that? "I said, "A horrible person??!!, what I see is a frightened person. You are scared, aren't you?" She replied, "I am so scared of losing everything and everyone I love. Nurse, I am not a good person, I tried to commit suicide. I took an overdose of my pills, and I made my family worry about me". She started to cry again. I listened to Anna and let her speak out all her feelings. I said," I understand you feel it was the wrong thing to do" She replied: "Do you think God will forgive me? I need to cry, I need to pray". With my eyes full of tears I asked her,"...

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