Understanding Muslim Culture Essay

1074 words - 5 pages

Many nurses treat each patient as they want to be treated and while this is the golden rule it is not always the best course of action when working with those who are of a different culture or faith. It is important to be open-minded and unafraid to explore our own feelings, biases, and correct misunderstandings to provide the best care possible. The following information is given to open an eye to the culture of Islam, an overview of the basic pillars and behaviors a nurse or medical staff could see or hear. When those in the healthcare setting have a good basic understanding of a culture it will become easier to treat the person as a whole, and to understand how to care for the patient and ...view middle of the document...

The fifth pillar is hajj or the pilgrimage to mecca that each Muslim should make if financially and physically able to do so, (Queensland Health and Islamic Council of Queensland, 2011).
If at all possible the care should be given by a person of the same sex as the patient especially in the case of a female patient. Due to the value of modesty and privacy in many cases a same sex family member of the patient will assist the ill in much of the personal care such as washing and toileting care. Many patients will bring in their own clothing due to the fact that hospital attire can be a little shall we say reveling, and allowances should be made when possible. Misunderstandings and uncomfortable situations can be avoided when nurses and other staff remember a few things, unnecessary touching between non-related people of the opposite sex is considered rude, the left hand is considered unclean so the right hand should be used for feeding and giving medications, and shaving or trimming of any part of a beard that must be done needs to be done by a man even if the patient is unconscious, (Queensland Health and Islamic Council of Queensland, 2011).
Muslims consider a fetus of 120 days or more gestation to be a viable baby, so it is important for an OB nurse to know that in the case of a miscarriage the baby must be given to the parents for a proper burial. The nurse should also be aware of the importance of a prayer call recited in each of the child’s ears very soon after birth and that it would be most likely an Imam or a Mufti to do so. Abortions are permitted if the pregnancy threatens the mother’s life, especially if there are other children in the picture, (Queensland Health and Islamic Council of Queensland, 2011).
Something that may seem odd to some nurses is the attitudes towards death and dying. Death is seen as something set by god and is the beginning of eternal...

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