DiversityNursing Blog

A Student Nurse's Guide to Culture and Nursing

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Fri, Mar 01, 2013 @ 01:54 PM

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Every student nurse needs to have a strong understanding of culture and ethnic considerations so that they may be able to care for their patient's as whole. Many nurses when not faced with diversity are not fully understanding to exactly what culture is.

Culture is a set of learned values, customs, practices and beliefs that are shared by a group of people or are passed from one generation to another. A subculture shares many of the same characteristics with a primary culture but they may have patterns of behavior or ideals that differ and separate themselves from the rest of a cultural group.

Not all members of a culture will have the same behavior though; some of the differences are age, religion, dialect, socioeconomic backgrounds, geographic locations, gender identities, gender roles, and the degree of values that are adopted in a current country.

Stereotyping is something a nurse must learn not to do because culture can influence each person in varies ways and not each person from a certain culture may feel the same way as another person. Stereotyping is a generalized feeling about one group that is formed based on behavior, of an individual or a group. Ethnic stereotyping is a fixed concept of how all members of a certain group may think or act.

Race is considered a group of people who share biologic and physical characteristics, while ethnicity is a group of people who share a common social and cultural heritage based on beliefs, traditions, and national origin, physical and biologic characteristics.

Transcultural nursing is the understanding and integrating of the many variables in culture and subculture practices into all the aspects of nursing care. Different cultures have a variety of practices that may relate to response to illness and death, care of people of different age groups, childbirth, diet and nutrition, and even health care in general and treatment methods.

The nurse must be aware of personal culture beliefs and practices of their patient and understand that these beliefs put influence on their ability to care for those patients of different cultural backgrounds. By understanding these personal beliefs it gives the nurse the ability to react to different cultures with understanding, respect, openness, and acceptance of the differences between them. Depending on the location you work you may come across many different cultures and subcultures it is a nurse's duty to become versed in the different patients they may take care of.

Source: Yahoo Voices

Topics: student nurse, nursing, ethnic, cultural, patient, beliefs

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