Lewis et al: Medical-Surgical Nursing: Assessment and Management of Clinical Problems, 7th edition Key Points Chapter 3: Culturally

Competent Care
• Culture encompasses the knowledge, values, beliefs, art, morals, law, customs, and habits of the members of a society, including the systems of technology, education, social structures, and political practices. The demographics and cultural composition of the United States are diverse. Therefore it is important for nurses to be aware of cultural differences of patients in health care settings. Recent immigrants may be at risk for physical and mental health problems. This may be related to their country of origin or exposure to various factors in their new area. Cultural competence is a multiple-step process that involves the integration of knowledge, attitudes, and skills to enhance a working relationship with an individual who is from a different culture. Certain culture-related factors that must be considered in health care settings include the use of folk healers, spirituality, communication styles, familial roles, personal space, touch, nutrition, disease susceptibility, immigration, medication interactions, and psychologic factors. Verbal and non-verbal communication should be culturally assessed. A medical translator should be used when a nurse does not speak the patient’s primary language.

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