Cultural Competency

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Cultural Competency and Health Literacy
Linda Seyram Agudu, RN-BSN
State College of Florida
Spring 2014

Cultural competency and health literacy

“ To be culturally aware is to understand those aspects of the human condition that differentiate individuals and groups and to understand that these differences sometimes have a significant influence on their health and medical care” (Seidel, 2011). A definition of cultural competency in nursing: “The nurse becomes sensitive to the values, beliefs, lifestyle, and practices of the patient/client, and explores her/his own values, biases and prejudices. Unless the nurse goes through this process in a conscious, deliberate, and reflective manner there is always the risk of the nurse imposing her/his own cultural values during the encounter.” (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2008).
As cited in the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Tool Kit of Resources for Cultural Competent Education for Baccalaureate Nurses, Madeleine Leininger's theory and the Sunrise Model that depicts her theory are perhaps the most well known in nursing literature on culture and health. “Leininger states that the theory of cultural care diversity and universality is holistic. Culture is the specific pattern of behavior that distinguishes any society from others and gives meaning to human expressions of care”. (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2008).
The Cultural Competence Health Practitioner Assessment (CCHPA) is a self assessment tool that guides healthcare providers to become more culturally competent and to identify the areas they need to work on more. The six subscales deal directly with the cultural needs of healthcare consumers. (National Center for Cultural Competence, 1999-2004)
One experience which I will never forget, in my practice of nursing, I once had a patient who was a Buddhist…...

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