Culture and Diversity in Nursing
Culture and Diversity in Nursing: My Experience with a Muslim Patient
It is evident that culture is dynamic whose changes are normally gradual but mostly constant. Today, it is has been experienced that, due to increased mobile population cultural interactions have intensified. Nurses have greatly been affected by these intense cultural interactions since it is their duties to deliver care either with or without culture and diversification. Due to this fact, nurses have seen the need to incorporate cultural literature in their studies as a way in which they will be able to understand the different health behaviors and beliefs.
Brown (2008) asserts that, as an essential approach to better health care nurses need to have the thrill in the changing culture and diversification. Culture and diversification can vary and related to age, religion, socioeconomic status, race and various ethnicity backgrounds. In this paper I will use my personal experience to explain the need of incorporating culture and diversity in nursing.
As a stronger believer of the catholic faith and being a mental health nurse, I recently had an encounter with a Muslim patient that really enlightened me to get deep in their culture and diversification. From records it is indicated that there are about 1.57 billion Muslim across the world. These Muslims have been crossing over boundaries carry along with their spiritual practices and legal structures. It all started when my Muslim patient kept on asking assistance from Muslim legal experts especially when faced with challenges around health care decisions.
It came to my attention that it was their belief that when discussing various therapeutic issues there supposed to ask for assistance for their religion Supremes. The Muslim ethic legal structure known as the Shari- ah by the Muslim community require them to first seek for knowledge and understanding before seeking for any medical assistance. Muslim patients and medical practitioners are supposed to refer to this ethic legal structure before ant thing.
Other than the ethic legal structure, the issue of dress code arise when I will in the verge of treating my patient. In the Quran, men and women are advised to lower their gape by guarding or protecting their modesty (Brown, 2008). My female patient was very adamant in me trying to give her an injection; it was then that I realized that women were not allowed to display their bodies especially to their male counterpart unless he was his husband. The head covering and the wearing of long clothes prevented their male counterparts’ from having any form of sexual desire. It was through my thorough discussion with her that I got to understand that by administering the injection to her it would lower her honor and dignity towards her colleagues.
The Quran went ahead elaborating that a Muslim woman may be allowed to uncover part of her body that is from her navel and knees just in the presence of another Muslim woman. I was forced to go and look for a Muslim nurse so that my patient can agree to be administer5ed with the injection. Since of my profession as a mental nurse, I wanted to carry out some CT scan on my patient head, this examination brought some confrontation between me and the patient. My patient protested stating that she was only supposed to remove her veil over their bosoms only to her husband, father, son, father in law in short only those men who are related to her. This was the most challenging cultural aspect due to the fact that we only had a Christian doctor in our CT scan department.
According to Brown (2008), on the issue of cross gender interaction, it is obvious that medical arena for most of the Muslims brethrens can be very uncomfortable. The challenge lies when the patient is forced to change her dressing or expose part of her body for examination especially to a medical practitioner of the opposite sex. It is through to this bioethics which causes a hierarchy of physicians to examine a Muslim patient. For instance preference is first issued to a Muslim physician of the similar sex, followed by a non Muslim of an identical sex, then a Muslim physician of different sex then lastly a non Muslim physician of opposite sex. it came to my realization that sex was given preference as to religion due to the fact that there were concepts of” awrah” and seclusion that posed less barrier in same sex interaction .
From this personal experience I have come to realize that Muslims have different ways in which they use in seeking health care. They display certain behaviors which are greatly stemmed toward their Islamic conceptions of various diseases and their cure. Other than behaviors they possess Islamic rulings in regard to permissible therapeutics which widely contribute to the various renowned health outcomes. It is very evident that within the various health systems in different nations, Muslims tend to be treated differently from other religions due to stereotyping or great lack of knowledge of their culture by many medical practitioners. It is my greatest concern that knowledge should be enhanced in the medical field on the issue on culture and diversification so as to equip them during the process of treatment so that there could great patients and nurses satisfaction.
It is very important that we try to understand that culture which is largely formed by religious practices plays a very significant role in the shaping up of various health practices. Culture it’s like air meaning that culture is inevitable and so it is essential that it is incorporated in health facilities so that to minimize death which would be avoided if culture was understood. white(2006) asserts that, in the practiced based on patients and their culture, those responsible in providing health care must fully recognize the importance of understanding different cultures so that they can be able to avoid negative consequence of cultural diversification in a nurse encounter.
According to white(2006), Nurses should be willing to adapt the practice of cultural diversification so as to accommodate patients need so that they can engage in good negotiations of their health treatments. It is very effective that the nurse seek cross cultural communication so that they can be able to gain information from their different patients. It is noted that effective cultural communication lead to patient satisfaction, adherence with the patient such that there are able to accept various outcomes of the disease. There are several ways in which nurses can establish effective communication for instance, a nurse can decide to incorporate questioners which seek to share information about their culture which may be useful in trying to administer treatment to this patient (Leininger, 2005)
In airlines customers are asked about their religion based on their eating habits this same ethos can be used by nurses when it come to the issue of choosing medical therapeutic that affect or not their religious belief (Leininger, 2005) Lastly, an effective communication plat form which will determine where to begin or to end any kind of a clinical dialogue by way of asking whether there is any way the nurse can make the treatment comfortable. This question greatly creates an environment that greatly solicits both the medic and the socio cultural concern.
Leininger, A. (2005). Culture care diversity & universality: a theory of nursing. New York: Jones & Bartlett.
White, L et al. (2006). Medical-surgical nursing: an integrated approach. Albany: Delmar Thomson learning.
Brown, D. (2008). Islamic ethics in comparative perspective. Journal on Muslim World; 89 (1) :181–92.
HighBeam (2010). Culture care diversity and universality; a worldwide nursing theory. Retrieved 11th Nov 2010 from http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-142886734.html