Cultural competence is a process for addressing disparities, based on race, ethnicity, and culture (Isaacs et al., 2005, p. 5). Nurses must be culturally competent to provide effective and therapeutic care for patients. It is part of a holistic treatment process. How does culture shape an individuals view of mental health? Every culture has a different way of looking at mental health and its own way of explaining mental illness which is based on a set of beliefs and practices. Due to shame and stigma associated with mental health illness and individuals cultural beliefs, what culture has taught them on what to approach and what to avoid, a person may tend not to discuss their mental health challenges and ask for help (Gopalakrishnan, 2018). Furthermore, due to cultural influences on mental health, it may affect the way a person may describe their symptoms because of fear of being mistreated and discriminated. Discuss why culture competence is important to nursing? Cultural competence is the mainstream of a great nurse- patient relationship. It helps the growth and development of nurses while also incorporating relevant societal values. Cultural competence is important in nursing care because it gives nurses the ability to provide the best health care to patients while demonstrating cultural awareness for their beliefs, race, and values. Cultural competence in nursing is necessary because it leads to significant satisfaction of care on the side of the patient and the key point is help nurses to have broader knowledge base of different cultures, communicate, and interact with their patient effectively. What steps can a nurse take to be culturally competent? Cultural competence is the capacity to recognize, respect and respond with appropriate words and actions to the needs and concerns of individuals from different ethnicities, social classes, genders, ages, or religions. The steps that nurses can take to be culturally competence includes cultural knowledge, cultural awareness, avoid making assumptions, build trust and rapport, educate patients about medical practices, and practice active listening (Sperry, 2012). Overcoming language barriers would also be beneficial for nurses to effectively communicate with patient by checking with facility for translator availability and using pictures and hand gesture to communicate when needed.
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