A nurse walks into a patient’s room, quickly noticing that the room has been completely rearranged from the typical layout. The oxygen outlet is on the opposite side of the room, the call light barely reaches the patient; the nurse begins to feel very uncomfortable due to the differences in the unusual room set-up. Unaware of why these changes occurred, the nurse begins to move things back into their respective places, without asking the patient for the reasoning behind the changes.
As the shift changes over, the oncoming nurse goes into the patient’s room and notices that the patient seems very uncomfortable, and there is quite a change in the patient’s affect. Curious as to why the patient seems upset and mistreated, the nurse begins to question the patient. After spending time listening to the patient, the nurse learns that the patient practices Islam and is required to face the direction of Mecca while in bed due to the patient’s inability to move to the floor during the daily prayers. Understanding that this is a religious practice within the Islamic religion, the nurse assists the patient in rearranging the room once again.
This may not be the original experience that Madeleine Leininger, a diploma nurse, experienced when she began realizing there was a missing characteristic in the care that a nurse provided, yet many similar misunderstandings happen day to day in the practice of patient care (Sitzman & Eichelberger, 2011).
Madeleine Leininger worked as a nurse in a child guidance home, and began to notice that reoccurring behavioral patterns of the children seemed to have a correlation to their cultural identity. Leininger began to see that there was a lack of cultural knowledge and cultural sensitivity being implemented into patient care and planning. This began the development of a theory, early on, as nursing care called transcultural nursing (Sitzman & Eichelberger, 2011).
Knowing that patient care is not only limited to procedures, medications, and planning, Leininger further developed her idea into the Theory of Culture Care: Diversity and Universality. Leininger proposed that nursing should encompass personal beliefs, cultural differences, and expectations of care. The idea behind her theory was for a nurse to provide not only physical treatment, but also culturally cognizant, holistic care (Sitzman & Eichelberger, 2011).
A few main principles need to be understood when evaluating the practice of Leininger’s theory. The idea of culture is the first principle, often being values and beliefs that are shared between people from specific cultures, guiding their actions, thinking, and ways of life (Sitzman & Eichelberger, 2011).
Secondly, cultural care is the principal of how people’s cultural beliefs play a roll in their ability to improve their health or to deal with aspects in life such as illness and death. Cultural and social-structure dimensions are factors that need to be considered when caring for an individual. ...