Cultural Competency and Health Literacy
Linda Seyram Agudu, RN-BSN
State College of Florida
Cultural competency and health literacy
“ To be culturally aware is to understand those aspects of the human condition that differentiate individuals and groups and to understand that these differences sometimes have a significant influence on their health and medical care” (Seidel, 2011). A definition of cultural competency in nursing: “The nurse becomes sensitive to the values, beliefs, lifestyle, and practices of the patient/client, and explores her/his own values, biases and prejudices. Unless the nurse goes through this process in a conscious, deliberate, and ...view middle of the document...
He was admitted due to syncopal episodes. Although he was recovering well and the plan was for him to return home and continue with his dialysis treatments, this patient believed that he was going to die during that shift. Some buddhists believe that illness is a punishment and an imbalance of the energies. My buddhist patient felt that it was time for him to die and so he called in all his family members and all his local bhuddhist friends to bid him a smooth transition into the next life. They requested to have a quiet area to recite mantras and prayers to help him transition. We the staff that night, moved the patient to a private room to accommodate the patient and his family. The patient did not pass that night, however the point is that by respecting the patient’s practice and providing him with the private room, the staff demonstrated culturally competent nursing care. As a Christian, I am aware that others practice religions different from my own. But I am secure in the fact that Jesus Christ loves everyone indiscriminately and I am compelled to be like Him. As a first generation American immigrant from Ghana, I find that cultural is always on my mind because I make an effort at keeping some of the values, languages, and practices of my ancestral home. I find them enriching to my life and hope to pass the culture on to my children and their children. As a healthcare practitioner, I have witnessed firsthand how healthcare providers can translate an accent different from their own, as “the person is not intelligent”. I often get corrected by my coworkers on what they assume to be a mispronunciation on my part. Because of what I go through as a person of foreign origin in America, I can identify...