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Culturally Competent Care Of The Hispanic Patient

1773 words - 7 pages

What is cultural competence? What is culturally competent care? These are very important questions to consider. Nurses are exposed to diverse cultures constantly in today's society and need to be able to provide appropriate care while still respecting a patient's cultural background.Cultural competence in nurses is a combination of culturally congruent behaviors, practice attitudes, structures and policies that allow nurses to work effectively in cross-cultural situations. Cultural competence reflects a higher level of knowledge than cultural sensitivity, which was once thought to be all that was needed for nurses to effectively care for their patients (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2004).Culturally competent care should be the foundation for all care that a nurse provides, especially when caring for a patient whose cultural background differs from that of the nurse. Care designed for a specific patient that is based on the uniqueness of his or her culture, including the culture's norms and values is culturally competent care. This care should include strategies to empower the patient in making decisions related to his or her health behavior. Culturally competent care should be provided with sensitivity and respect to the cultural uniqueness of the patient (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2004).LD - A Hispanic WomanLD is a 35 year old Hispanic female who has agreed to answer questions regarding her cultural background. She is a first generation Mexican-American whose parents and grandparents immigrated to the United States from Mexico in the late 1960s. LD was raised with what she believes are traditional Hispanic beliefs and values. She answered questions about socioeconomic factors, family values, religion, and health beliefs and practices. LD based her answers on the cultural beliefs and values that were instilled in her by her parents and grandparents.Socioeconomic FactorsLD believes that her family falls into the middle-class socioeconomic group. She believes that the Hispanic community represented in all socioeconomic groups. In the community where she grew up, LD's family was considered to be very affluent because they owned their own business. LD believes that in the local community the majority of the Hispanic population falls just above the poverty level to below the poverty level. When asked why she thinks this way LD replied, "We have large families and support our extended families. When you earn $60,000 a year and are only supporting a family of three or four you can live comfortably but when you earn that same $60,000 and are supporting ten to twelve people it is hard to make ends meet."LifestyleWhen asked about lifestyle, LD stated that most activities revolve around religion and the family. She did say that Hispanics have a tendency to want to maintain eye contact, touch frequently and be in close proximity when talking to another person. Garrido (2004) states, "Spanish speakers tend toward formality in their treatment of one another. A...

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