The transcultural nursing theory ensures that health care professionals are extremely sensitive to their patients’ cultural norms and biological characteristics (Maier-Lorentz, 2008). According to the transcultural nursing theory, the most significant factors that determine treatment include the issues like modesty, use of folk remedies or amulets, and refusal of those medicines that induce pain (Andrews & Boyle, 2008). Transcultural nursing theory enables nurses to focus on the patients’ spiritual and emotional needs apart from concentrating on their physical needs only. For instance, during my nursing practice, I considered the use of painkillers as extremely vital, because the Mexican Americans exhibited high levels of anxiety and emotions with the pain. Therefore, I used anesthetics for my patients before cleansing their open wounds.
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Effects of Transcultural Nursing and Diversity on the Role of a Nurse
In the contemporary society, transcultural nursing and cultural diversity have changed the role of nurses from focusing on their patients’ physical needs to fixing attention on spiritual and emotional needs in addition (Murphy, 2006). Transcultural nursing and cultural diversity have forced nurses to perform cultural assessments on their patients before treating them (Maier-Lorentz, 2008). In my nursing practice, I carried out cultural assessments on my patients and found that the perception of pain was not the same among patients from different backgrounds. Native Americans were stoic and less expressive of the, while Mexican Americans exhibited high levels of anxiety and emotion. The assessment involves asking patients to describe their feelings (Maier-Lorentz, 2008). Traditionally, nurses simply treated their patients based on the diagnosed symptoms.
Culture Influencing Communication
Nurses and other health care professionals will achieve cultural competency through practicing effective communication techniques (Lo, 2012). This requires nurses to examine the communication styles of people from different cultural backgrounds. Oral communication, written communication, gestures and signs are some of the communication cues that people from diverse cultural backgrounds exhibit. Nurses should understand all the communication cues, as well as their significances for persons from different cultures, which will enable them attain and sustain cultural competency. Nurses may fail to understand the patients’ problems, cultural beliefs and values when they do not have a common language.
However, it may not be possible for a nurse to master all languages that people in a culturally diverse community use for the communication. It is necessary for a nurse to understand various nonverbal styles of communication, which will increase the likelihood of determining the symptoms that different patients may experience, as well as understanding cultural values and beliefs of patients from different cultural backgrounds (Lo, 2012). Some of the nonverbal cues include eye contact, silence, and touch. In my nursing practice, I encountered a Chinese patient, who could not communicate in any language except for his mother tongue. I could not understand Chinese language, but fortunately, the patient could express his symptoms by using sign language. He touched his forehead and frowned, which enabled me to know that he was experiencing headache. Therefore, there was adequate communication, because I was aware of various communication cues. Illiteracy and deafness are other possible communication barriers that exist in culturally diverse communities (Lo, 2012).
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