Enough with culture already!!

  1. 2
    I'm in my second semester of nursing school. It's a combined course of Med-Surg/OB.

    The first semester we went over the fundamentals. We covered a lot of cultural aspects to nursing, believe me, I understand it's importance.

    But, here we are, going over it again in Nursing II. It's so redundant! Basically you could boil it down to "treat people with respect and tolerate their various cultural nuances".

    And honestly, I'm not in anthropology school, I'm in nursing school. I don't think it's necessary to be extremely knowledgeable about all the various cultures in the world in order to provide excellent nursing care.

    I'm not ethnocentric and I respect the various forms of culture and I'm bilingual, but, come on is it really necessary for me to know that I can't look a Muslim man in the face while speaking to him! We're all human and we basically want to be treated with respect and dignity.

    Okay - I feel better now after venting.
    KATRN78 and Stcroix like this.
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  3. 18 Comments so far...

  4. 6
    Quote from AppalachianRNstudent
    And honestly, I'm not in anthropology school, I'm in nursing school. I don't think it's necessary to be extremely knowledgeable about all the various cultures in the world in order to provide excellent nursing care.

    I'm not ethnocentric and I respect the various forms of culture and I'm bilingual, but, come on is it really necessary for me to know that I can't look a Muslim man in the face while speaking to him! We're all human and we basically want to be treated with respect and dignity.
    Yes, it really is necessary! Nobody could expect you to know everything about every culture, but part of the dignity and respect you referred to earlier is trying to accommodate the patient's needs based on your cultural knowledge of their needs and expectations. I have similar issues about religion, since I am an atheist/agnostic/humanist, but I still know enough about different religions to be able to apply my knowledge to help people of different faiths.

    No one would expect you to do anything counter to your own cultural ethics, but it is part of nursing standards to try to meet the patient's needs in a culturally competent manner.

    No offense, but I detect that you have a little bit of a "chip on your shoulder" about this issue. Have you been the victim of cultural insensitivity yourself? What part of the country are you from? Do you get exposed to many different cultures?

    Dave Dunn, RN
    llg, healthstar, bigsick_littlesick, and 3 others like this.
  5. 2
    I think learning about different cultures would really be very helpful in our profession. When we apply this knowledge, it might actually help us tremendously in winnig our client's confidence and co-operation.
    healthstar and Hospice Nurse LPN like this.
  6. 3
    This semester I am taking an extra class just for fun multicultural issues in psychology. I can't get enough. Lol. in defense of the OP, I've learned more about cultures from living all over the world, my friends and my own community than I ever did in a book. It seems like younger generations change their own culture faster than text books sometimes. I just started but already know why people skim read, so much repeating and fluff in nursing text books.
  7. 2
    Ditto to the above posters. When you enter the real world of nursing, you'll encounter people of many different cultures. It's VERY important of have some information about as many cultures as possible.
    healthstar and swyatt like this.
  8. 0
    Quote from ddunnrn
    Yes, it really is necessary! Nobody could expect you to know everything about every culture, but part of the dignity and respect you referred to earlier is trying to accommodate the patient's needs based on your cultural knowledge of their needs and expectations. I have similar issues about religion, since I am an atheist/agnostic/humanist, but I still know enough about different religions to be able to apply my knowledge to help people of different faiths.

    No one would expect you to do anything counter to your own cultural ethics, but it is part of nursing standards to try to meet the patient's needs in a culturally competent manner.

    No offense, but I detect that you have a little bit of a "chip on your shoulder" about this issue. Have you been the victim of cultural insensitivity yourself? What part of the country are you from? Do you get exposed to many different cultures?

    Dave Dunn, RN
    Hi Dave,

    I completely understand and agree. It's just that we have so much to learn (skills and theory wise) that I feel like the culture stuff is sort of overkill. I've lived all over the US and have been to several different countries - so, maybe it's the case that I am hyper-aware of many (not all) cultural nuances throughout the world.

    I'd rather not reveal specific geographic information but no, I've never been a victim, per se, of cultural insensitivity. What I was really trying to say is that I'd rather focus on the nitty-gritty in my Med-Surg/OB course.
    Last edit by AppalachianRNstudent on Aug 27, '11
  9. 5
    Quote from appalachianrnstudent
    hi dave,

    i completely understand and agree. it's just that we have so much to learn (skills and theory wise) that i feel like the culture stuff is sort of overkill. i've lived all over the us and have been to several different countries - so, maybe it's the case that i am hyper-aware of many (not all) cultural nuances throughout the world.

    i'd rather not reveal specific geographic information but no, i've never been a victim, per se, of cultural insensitivity. what i was really trying to say is that i'd rather focus on the nitty-gritty in my med-surg/ob course.

    while you may a well rounded awareness of other cultures, what about your classmates? some students have never even crossed their own state line. as you will learn, each culture has a unique view of childbirth, illness, death, etc.

    good luck in your schooling!
  10. 1
    Quote from hospice nurse lpn
    while you may a well rounded awareness of other cultures, what about your classmates? some students have never even crossed their own state line. as you will learn, each culture has a unique view of childbirth, illness, death, etc.
    exactly.
    oklahomagal likes this.
  11. 0
    I truly forget that there are people in nursing school who need cultural diversity understanding. I get this attitude that everyone is just culturally sensitive by nature, so why do we need to re-write what is already written. I also forget that I've had many years of exposure to many cultures and global diversity training/understanding; whereas, many of my classmates have not.

    But, I certainly do understand the frustration of writing another paper, especially, if writing and researching takes up valuable time.
  12. 1
    Nursing school teaches "culture" per see. I was taught something that I later researched that only included a small community of African-Americans on a small island-like area that was really taught as if it majority of African-Americans culture. I had to leave it alone because the college I went to had limited diversity. Not to say that I might not meet someone from that little town(<5K nationwide) in the south that AA culture in the book spoke about. So imagine when I missed a question about my culture...HAHA explaining the truth fell on deaf ears. Instructors only teach whats in the book.


    BTW I had "culture" for all seven quarters. Sorry.
    inthere likes this.


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