Quote from redcell
muslim protoplasm is the same as any other human being. treat them like you would any other patient. if they refuse your care....fine, let someone else pick up the slack. this is not something you encounter in the real world that often. usually it is just an unlikely scenario nursing instructors enjoy wasting time on instead of teaching students useful information that actually improves care.
on the contrary, in many cities cultural and religious considerations are coming up more and more often in day-to-day hospital care. i frequently have to order food trays for patients who don't speak english. knowing a little about various cultures means that i will not order ham or bacon for a somali patient. and i'm usually safe ordering chicken and rice for hispanic patients, even for breakfast.
if you are going to start worrying about muslim customs, you better start learning nursing considerations for sikhs, buddhists, shinto, scientologists, wiccans, the nation of yahweh, followers of the prince philip movement, the flying spaghetti monster (my personal favorite) and nuwaubians. well, at least nuwaubianism has its roots in muslim culture so not too much to learn there. start studying dude, there are a lot of sensitive people out there!
yes, you can go nuts trying to anticipate every nuance of cultural sensitivity to the point where you lose sight of your nursing responsibilities. but this kind of caring is more about attitude than memorizing pages of national and religious customs. this is especially true when you consider that there can be disagreement even within a single group about which rules apply and what exceptions can be made and when.
what is more important is learning that differences do
exist and understanding that part of our job is to help the patient find a balance between keeping their customs and being as open as possible to receiving the best of care.
it's probably a good idea to ask the individuals what they need. not everyone who identifies with a particular group believes or behaves in the same way. indeed, members of the same congregation might judge each other harshly for choices they have made.
rather than hurt your brain trying to "know" what's what, develop the habit of asking. many patients like to teach others about their customs. gradually, you will probably develop a mental database of the most common preferences, but there can still be surprises. many of my asian postpartum patients request warm drinking water (to replace the "heat" lost during childbirth), but every once in a while, i'll get one who rolls her eyes when i ask and says, "that's my mother's custom. i want ice water."
be ready to accommodate (to a point), apologize if you inadvertently do something taboo, ask the patient to teach you about their customs, and have a good sense of humor.
muslim protoplasm is the same as any other human being.
yup. people are people the whole world over. we're more alike than we are different.