Essay: Nursing and Cultural Diversity

Complete 8 page APA formatted essay: Nursing and Cultural Diversity.Likewise, the paper aims to provide an understanding of the concept of culture and how it has influenced the patients’ perceptions of health and illness, and of health care professionals. The importance of culture in planning nursing care shall be discussed as well.It is necessary to describe the concept of culture and how it has entered the picture of nursing practice. As depicted by Fleras and Elliott (2000), culture is an integration of lifestyles, learned and shared beliefs, values and opinions. It also consists of knowledge and other symbolic representations that direct the behavior of a particular group. This creates a pattern of thoughts and actions which provide support for the social and physical survival of the group. Consequently, ethnic groups who share a common cultural belief and system that has been passed on from generation to generation, likewise advocate that their health is not mainly composed of their physical well-being but rather is also determined by social, emotional, spiritual and cultural well-being of the whole community (Stout and Downey, 2009). Despite adversities and challenges in health, they are seen with much resilience and strength of survival. Thus, nurses or health care providers must be able to understand this concept of culture based from pragmatic knowledge founded on personal and political self-determination (Stout & Downey, 2009). According to The International Council of Nurses (1999), there are more than 300 million indigenous peoples in the world, belonging mainly to the marginalized sectors of society. They are experiencing distress due to poor living conditions, unemployment and low income, as well as inaccessibility of education, safe water, food and health care services (Stout and Downey, 2009). Due to health inequities resulting to apparently high morbidity and mortality rates of indigenous communities, it is only necessary that this be emphasized and resolved by health care professionals, including nurse care providers. Yet, the responsibility of taking care of people perceived to be different than one’s own cultural background is no easy task. There are barriers that might hinder the promotion of quality patient care, such as prejudice, ethnocentrism, stereotyping, and racism (Racher and Annis, 2007). However, it is ascertained that by understanding the cultural differences and history of each varying societies or communities, nurses will be able to establish a change in value system and perception of their culturally diverse patients. It also entails a more appropriate and culture safe nursing practice.Currently, educational sectors have seen the implication and importance of culture in the evolution of health care system. Therefore, faculties of nursing have also incorporated culture awareness in school curricula and implemented activities such as immersions for transcultural nursing experiences. This is in line with the responsibility of health professionals to encourage and actively support participation of employing respect and honor on the diversity of the community or group that nurses are involved with. Therefore, they envision a bridge that may connect the gap of differences.