Recognising and respecting patients’ cultural diversity

Nursing standard: official newspaper of the Royal College of Nursing 03/2014; 28(28):45-52. DOI: 10.7748/ns2014.
Source: PubMed


To explore nursing students' experiences of caring for patients from different and often unfamiliar cultural backgrounds.

Focus group discussions were conducted with nursing students from mental health, learning disability and adult nursing in one university, to obtain qualitative information about areas of difficulty in providing culturally competent care.

Nursing students expressed difficulties and challenges meeting the cultural needs of patients, with particular focus on issues related to language, food and gender.

Nursing students need to prepare for work in a culturally diverse healthcare setting and should receive education and training in this area to ensure ongoing personal and professional development.

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    ABSTRACT: Culturally competent care is an essential ability for nursing students. However, little is known about the effects of educational intervention on attitudes or behavior changes with regard to cultural competence in Taiwan. This study evaluates the effects of a cultural competence course for nursing students. Using a longitudinal study design, 105 participants were assigned to an experiment group (51 participants) and control group (54 participants) based on the school they attended. Students in the experiment group received a two-credit course on cultural competence care. Using the Cultural Competence Assessment Instrument-Chinese Version (CCA-CV), data were collected between 2012 and 2013 at three points in time: before and after the course and again 6 to 8months after the two groups (experiment and control) had completed the clinical practicum. The results of a generalized estimating equation (GEE) analysis indicate that the cultural competence of all participants had improved at the posttest assessment, with the experiment group showing a significantly better improvement over the control group. However, the overall effectiveness of the training diminished with time. This study supports that taking a cultural competence course effectively enhances the cultural competence of nursing students for a limited period of time immediately following the course. These results support that the benefits of incorporating a cultural competence course in clinical practice should be considered in the future. Furthermore, healthcare institutions should be encouraged to provide greater support and consideration to cultural competence issues in the nursing workplace in order to reinforce and extend the benefits of cultural competence courses provided at nursing schools. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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