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Transcultural Nursing Cumulative Journal Essay

The student initially entered the Transcultural Nursing class with limited knowledge and experience in caring for patients of differing cultures. Even though the student’s practice with assisting various cultures still remains narrow, her knowledge base and tools to assist with obtaining information and assessments has significantly improved. This course has opened the student’s eyes as well as her mind in accepting individuals beliefs and practices. The student also has grasped the concept that just because one accepts or allows another individual to engage in cultural rituals does not mean that the student herself must agree with these practices (Ginger & Davidhizar, 2008). She is simply agreeing with the human rights of each person . One of the initial activities of this course was to partake in a cultural self-assessment. In the beginning of the course, the student did not do well on this quiz, which she found to be very upsetting. She has always considered herself to be open-minded, compassionate, and supportive of others, especially of those who may be vulnerable.

This course has taught the student that transcultural nursing is so much more than smiling and being pleasant. To be acceptable to all cultures you can hold no stereo-types. The nurse needs to understand how cross cultural misunderstandings can and will impact clinical outcomes. If one desires optimal outcomes for their patients, then they must become knowledgeable of the culture and make considerations regarding treatments appropriately. For example, it is part of the Filipino American culture to perceive an individual’s health issue as a family issue. When caring for a Filipino patient, the nurse needs to base his or her nursing interventions on family structure and organization (Giger & Davidhizar, 2008). Each culture contains various preferences and beliefs and it is the responsibility of the healthcare provider to research the culture and be aware of such differing practices. This course informed the student of the legal obligations to provide the non-English and the limited-English speaking patients with a medical translator.

This right falls under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and was further enhanced to include the individuals who speak limited English as well (Kritz, 2010). Every patient has the right to be informed of their health and options so they may make educated choices for their care. The student’s short term goal is to become familiar with her facilities policy regarding the use of the webcam to serve as a translator. She would like to obtain enough information regarding this style of interpretation to become the department’s designated resource person. One of the courses final activities was to re-take the initial cultural self assessment quiz. The success of consciously and correctly answering the questions demonstrates the student’s achievements in providing optimal transcultural nursing care to her patients. The student feels the personal cultural interview assignment was essential in demonstrating the significance of communicating with patients of various cultures. The Giger and Davidhizar’s Transcultural Assessment Model was used when performing the comprehensive interview and served as an astonishing tool in gathering precise cultural information (Ginger & Davidhizar, 2008).

The long term goal of the student is to participate in one of her parish sponsored annual mission trips. This inspiration from this goal comes from the required readings in this course regarding nursing mission trips. While reflecting over the past five weeks, the student appreciates the vast amount of knowledge she has obtained, which will be greatly utilized throughout her nursing career. The student is reminded of the Bible passage, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31, New International Version). This is an excellent skill to achieve with every patient not only those of a different culture.

References

Giger, J. N., & Davidhizar, R. E. (2008). Transcultural nursing: Assessment and intervention (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby. Kritz, F. L. (2010, December 27). Medical interpreters are a patient’s right. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://articles.latimes.com/2010/dec/27/health/la-he-medical-interpreters-20101227


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