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.
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  3. Visit  AppalachianRNstudent profile page

    About AppalachianRNstudent

    Joined Aug '11; Posts: 206; Likes: 104.

    18 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  ddunnrn profile page
    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. Visit  PallaviMuraleedharan profile page
    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. Visit  ORnurseCT profile page
    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. Visit  Hospice Nurse LPN profile page
    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. Visit  AppalachianRNstudent profile page
    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. Visit  Hospice Nurse LPN profile page
    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. Visit  CrazierThanYou profile page
    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. Visit  Despareux profile page
    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. Visit  NENE RN profile page
    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.
  13. Visit  ProfRN4 profile page
    2
    I personally do not think there is ever too much culture. Everyone here has basically said what I have been thinking. As far as learning more skills and the nitty gritty of Med Surg, I believe this is just as important. This is what you will deal with every day of your lives. You may never encounter a patient with a specific med surg disorder, but almost every patient you encounter will have a cultural issue.

    Last semester, I asked my clinical group to identify themselves culturally in a brief, one page paper. Three of them looked at me with a very confused look. These three were born in America (the rest were not) and 2 admitted that they never thought of themselves as culturally different (they were white, of european descent, catholic... like me). But as the semester progressed, the other students definitely saw them as culturally different, and it made me examine myself a bit more, thinking about what is the 'norm'. I must add that I grew up in the neighborhood where I teach, and over the last 30+ years, there has been quite a shift in demographics.

    In the hospital where I teach clinicals, these three students are the minority (as am I). I actually enjoy sharing my experiences with my students, and hearing the differences in my students rituals, like birth, marriage, celebrations and death. I never get tired of talking about this stuff!!!
    healthstar and Hospice Nurse LPN like this.
  14. Visit  ddunnrn profile page
    5
    This thread is really interested to me, so here's another post. some of the other writers have brought up a very salient point--not everybody is exposed to people of other cultures.

    I grew up in a very homogeneous small town in PA. My high school had 2 Black families (they were Colored back then), 1 Jewish family (who could tell when their name was Miller), and no Hispanics, Asians, or anything else that we knew of. My family, especially my father's side, were basically rednecks, but thankfully I did not absorb their influence.

    When I went to college, my roommate was blind and Jewish, and his Mother took me in almost as her own. I met people of many, many ethnic extractions while there. When I moved here to Philadelphia in '76, I was exposed to a cosmopolitan cultural (yes! Philadelphia!!), and a city that is 40% African-American, and a good percentage Hispanic. Working in nursing, you really are exposed to numerous cultures just because of the variety in the workforce. Along the way, I picked up passable Spanish, and American Sign Language. (learned Braille in college).

    One of my favorite things to do is eat at one of our many Chinese Buffets, and any time you go there you will hear English, Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Creole, Greek, etc, etc. So many languages, so little time!

    I think exposure is the best cure for the cultural competency issue.
    not.done.yet, llg, healthstar, and 2 others like this.
  15. Visit  healthstar profile page
    2
    Oh yeah, it is necessary. No one can provide excellent care if you are not culture Competent or sensitive. What you call excellent care might not be perceives as one by other cultures. You absolutely need to know about other cultures, in order to satisfy your patients and to provide excellent care. Going back to your example, If you look at a Muslim man eye to eye when you communicate with him, in his book you are disrespectful. Yes , I agree that all human beings want to be treated with respect, in my book respect means something else. I don't like maintaining eye contact, keep your hands to yourself, I want a male, or only a female doc, I don't want my husband in the room when I give birth, my husband is the decision maker, i don't cry when I am in pain, I don't want meds for pain, I don't go to the hospital when I am sick etc . You don't have to have a ph.d to provide excellent care, just know the main/ basic things.


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