Cultural Competence In Nursing

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In medical practice, it is often emphasized that physicians must practice cultural competence in an attempt to achieve better diagnosis, intervention and treatment via approaching the patient in a holistic manner. Regrettably, the definition of cultural competence and let alone culture is often mistakenly interpreted, nor is it unified. Borrowing from Greon’s ideas, Wilson argues that “differing understandings of cultural competence present challenges in terms of accurately and reliably capturing its meaning, making its measurement problematic” (Greon as cited in Wilson, 208, p.14). This essay will tease out the subtleties in efforts to elucidate any misunderstandings around term ‘culture’ from an anthropological perspective, whilst exploring its relevance to medical practice. With the aid of anthropological literature, the first point will define the term ‘culture’, followed by arguments of how the culture within the medical field influences patient care and how healthcare professionals should approach the cultural identities of their patients. To begin with, culture can be defined as an anthropological unit that groups together individuals with shared ideologies. It is focused on what individuals learn and what is instilled within them, which are usually found in conjunction with common practices such as rituals. It is important to note that the term ‘unit’ is used loosely, as culture is fluid and has no clear-cut margins. It is an abstract method of grouping individuals

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