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Providing Culturally Competent Care

NUR 4636 Community and Public Health
Danielle Giaritelli
University of South Florida



In a world with more than six billion people, there are several different cultures, but one
thing they all have in common is the need for exceptional healthcare. Because of the vast diversity throughout the globe, there are multiple beliefs and practices in regards to what healthcare
means to each and every culture. Although, there are multiple cultures, where beliefs and types
of care vary, they all share one goal: maintaining or living a healthy life while utilizing resources
around them to achieve this. As a health care provider, it is vital to not only understand my personal expectations and views, but strive to understand other patient s cultures, values, and beliefs
in order to provide the community with the best quality of culturally competent care.
CR, a 21 year old male from Latin America, is currently a student attending The University of South Florida. After agreeing to an interview, he was happy to share his point of view on
certain health care topics that he was raised with that he felt set him apart from others. He grew
up with a hispanic background that he still follows today and plans on instilling in his children as
well. It was fascinating to learn that the only time he or his family will see a doctor is if they are
seriously ill or feel like they are actually going to die. CR said, We never go to the doctor unless
it is an actual emergency. I don t do routine check ups, because if I feel okay, then I am doing
okay. If he or his siblings were sick growing up, instead of going to the doctor, their at home
remedy was to buy over the counter, Vic s Vapor Rub, which he saw as a cure all to any sickness
they might have had. CR was raised using ginger if he had an upset stomach or drinking lemon
juice for a fever or a cough, which he still does today. It was interesting to see that research on
the Latino culture health rituals matches what CR said in the interview. An example found in the
literature was Lim n is used a classic cooling herb in fevers and infections (Caring for Latino



Patients, n. d.). Other research conducted, showed that some Latinos do find health care in a
non-clinical site, relying on traditional healers such as espiritstas, which are spiritual healers
(Culturally Competent Care for Latino Patients, n. d.). Although, this is not found in every
Latin American culture, it agrees with what CR said about not always seeking out a doctor when
When asked about food, CR was quick to answer with foods that he loves. He said he
sticks to his roots when cooking which consists of some type of meat and always rice and beans
on the side. His favorite dish, pork hind with rice and beans, was a staple in his household growing up and also in his culture. He also might add in flour tortillas to wrap the meat, rice, and
beans in. When researching foods within this culture, Pabell n criollo, a dish consisting of rice
with black beans and shredded beef, was a national dish for Latin Americans (Top Dishes in
Latin American Cuisine, 2014.). It was very exciting to see CR carried on traditions he grew up
with and are so well-known in his culture. CR feels he is overall very healthy, but making a few
adjustments to his diet could be beneficial to his overall health. He stays active, but does think
adding in more fruits and vegetables could positive influence his health and allow him to lose a
few pounds. He wants to make the changes, but does find it hard to deviate away from the foods
he has grown up with.
In a case study, CR is a newly diagnosed diabetic patient. As a community health nurse, it
is crucial to be culturally competent and aware of CR s beliefs and understanding the stereotypes
that go along with his Latin American culture when creating a nursing care plan. Autonomy is a
huge part of CR s culture and his ability to make his own health care decisions, so when creating
this plan, accommodation and negotiation must be used because it is important to get his input on



how he would like to treat his condition, but also adapting to suggestions from the community
health nurse. The Madeleine Leniger theory concepts of accommodation and negotiation are relative to creative nursing actions that help people of a particular culture adapt to or negotiate with
others in the healthcare community in an effort to attain the shared goal of an optimal health outcome for client(s) of a designated culture (Leininger, M. M., & McFarland, M. R. 2002). This is
crucial to explain to CR, because it exemplifies the nurse s desire to best fit his needs while respecting his cultural views. Repatterning could also be very helpful in helping CR with his new
diagnosis. Because he doesn t believe in seeing a doctor regularly due to assimilating his views
with his families, it is important to educate him on regulating blood sugar levels, so he doesn t
experience further complications that diabetes can cause. Encouraging a mutual decision-making
progress that can allow CR to achieve better health outcomes by explaining the need for regular
doctor visits is something that could positive effect CR s lifetime experience with diabetes. It is
important to include CR in health care decisions and explain ways that he could adjust his routine, while still respecting his cultural and providing culturally competent care.
Maintaining cultural awareness throughout one s healthcare career is one of the important
qualities to have in order to provide the highest quality of care to patients. As health care
providers it s important to be aware of stereotypes and stigmas within cultures and making sure
culturally competent care is always being provided by putting patient s beliefs at the utmost importance. All of the unique cultures, beliefs, and healthcare practices are what makes the world
such an incredible place to live in and learn from others surrounding you. It is a special job to be
able to incorporate how we care for patients and respecting their views into our everyday job.



Caring for Latino Patients. (n. d.). Retrieved from 2013/0101/p48.html
Culturally Competent Care for Latino Patients: Introduction. (n. d.). Retrieved from http://
Madeleine Leininger Theory Of Culture Care Nursing Essay. Retrieved from http:// culture-care-nursingessay.php
Top Dishes in Latin American Cuisine. (2014, June 6). Retrieved from http://www.topuniversi