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.
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
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