In a recent clinical placement, I was asked to record the medical history of the patient in the clinical setting. The patient was suffering from clinical depression and belonged to the Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander community. When I was recording the medical history, I accidentally asked some questions regarding the cultural and social background of the patient that came across as insensitive and I unintentionally hurt the patient emotions. A senior nurse then assisted me in balancing the situation. I apologized for my behavior and requested my senior to guide me for ensuring cultural competence.
I felt extremely sorry for hurting the sentiments of the patient unintentionally. I felt extremely thankful to my senior nurse for coming in and helping me manage the situation efficiently.
I felt extremely sad to have hurt the patient’s sentiments while recording the medical history as I understand that cultural competence is an essential component of quality nursing. Healthcare professionals need to learn and develop competence towards various social and cultural groups to ensure the highest quality of care (Sharifi et al., 2019). I was also extremely thankful to have received assistance from the senior nurse. Mutual support and collaboration are also essential for the delivery of the highest quality care in the medical setting (Chen et al., 2020). The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (2018) asserts the significance of providing culturally competent care and mutual support in the nursing practice to ensure quality care for the patient.
Cultural competence is important in nursing practice as it helps in the development of trust and mutual respect between the patient and the carer (Chen et al., 2020). This is important to promote strong interpersonal relationships to enhance communication. Through the practice of competent care, the patient can feel safe and communicate freely with the healthcare practitioner (Pak, 2016). This ensures that the patient's needs are communicated effectively and the most suitable interventions are applied. Following the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (2018), cultural competence is one of the core principles of the code of conduct in nursing and must be followed to promote wellness and minimize the socio-cultural hindrances in providing care.
Through this reflective analysis, I have concluded that the practice of cultural competence is crucial for the delivery of best care services to the patient and to promote their wellbeing.
To improve my actions in the future, I will assure that I practice cultural competence in my patient interaction. This can be done by keeping the social and cultural background into consideration while talking to the patient (Mackean et al., 2020). Cultural competence is essential as it helps in the understanding of patient needs more effectively and applies suitable interventions for their beneficence. When interacting with patients that belong to the Aboriginal Torres Strait and Islander community, I will take the assistance of an Aboriginal Liaison Officer. The officer will ensure that the patient safety, cultural and social needs, and linguistic barriers are essentially met and the patients can communicate their needs effectively (Mackean et al., 2020). Ensuring cultural competence in practice provides scope for the development of a strong interpersonal relationship of the patients with the healthcare professionals by promoting free communication and providing a culturally safe place for interaction (Skerrett et al., 2018). Since the patients will be comfortable, their needs can be addressed more efficiently and in a culturally safe manner for the promotion of their beneficence and wellbeing. I will also ensure taking the assistance of my seniors in learning and practicing cultural safety for the delivery of competent care (Orr, 2017)
Chen, H. C., Jensen, F., Chung, J., &Measom, G. (2020). Exploring faculty perceptions of teaching cultural competence in nursing. Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 15(1), 1-6.
Mackean, T., Withall, E., Dwyer, J., & Wilson, A. (2020). Role of Aboriginal Health Workers and Liaison Officers in quality care in the Australian acute care setting: A systematic review. Australian Health Review.14(2), 45-55
Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (2018). Code of conduct.
Orr, E. K. (2017). Action research about good practice by aboriginal hospital liaison officers and social workers in hospitals in Victoria. ALAR: Action Learning and Action Research Journal, 23(2), 11.
Pak, S. Y. (2016). Relationship between self-reflection, critical thinking disposition, muti cultural experience and cultural competence in nursing students. Journal of Digital Convergence, 14(12), 345-355.
Sharifi, N., Adib-Hajbaghery, M., & Najafi, M. (2019). Cultural competence in nursing: A concept analysis. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 103386.
Skerrett, D. M., Gibson, M., Darwin, L., Lewis, S., Rallah, R., & De Leo, D. (2018). Closing the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth suicide: A social–emotional wellbeing service innovation project. Australian Psychologist, 53(1), 13-22.
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