Nurses can apply strategies of cultural competent care into practice by actively obtaining knowledge of different cultures and attempting to understand how other people live and behave. The nurse must always keep in mind that a patient’s culture must be observed and validated even if that culture differs from the nurse’s belief system. (Grand Canyon University , 2015)
An example of cultural preservation is allowing a patient to have diet options that are a normal part of their cultural identification. Seventh Day Adventist often observe a vegetarian or vegan diet. A nurse can provide culturally competent care by providing diet options that fall into the patient’s diet. (seventhdayadventistdiet.com, 2016). A barrier to applying this would-be policy written for food services in a healthcare setting. Some facilities view alternate diets as an unnecessary expense.
An example of cultural accommodation is allowing the Chinese patient to have hot or cold beverages depending on their health belief as a cure for the symptoms of the illness. A barrier to applying this would be the lack of education of healthcare workers. Often front line workers have little to no knowledge of cultural practices and refuse to act outside of what is considered normal.
An example of cultural repatterning is teaching a patient an alternative way of a cultural tradition due to possible drug interactions. A Seventh Day Adventist diet may be high in vegetables containing Vitamin K. If placed on Coumadin an alteration of the current diet would have to be taught for the medication to have a positive effect. A barrier to this would be the patient’s acceptance of diet changes and the compliance of the person purchasing and preparing the food.
An example of cultural brokering is when a Spanish speaking patient needs nonemergent care. No interpreter is available onsite. A nurse can advocate for the provider to obtain an interpreter so the patient can understand the medical care needed. This allows the patient to make informed decisions on care. A barrier in the rural setting is the time it takes for an interpreter to be contacted.
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