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Cultural Competence
In Nursing Practice
Cultural Competence - Cultural Awareness

Note: Click on hyperlinked key terms to review common definitions.

What does it mean to be culturally aware?

Leonard and Plotnikoff (2000) call cultural awareness the "heart" of cultural competence. Cultural self-awareness and knowledge about the impact of diversity on health helps the nurse see the patient or family from a holistic perspective; appreciate and respect patient rights; and influence patient health outcomes (McEwen, 2002; Transcultural Nursing, 2004).

Culturally competent nurses "understand their own world views and those of their patients, while avoiding stereotyping and misapplication of scientific knowledge" (Transcultural Nursing, 2004). The Institute of Medicine (IOM, 2003) reported "bias, stereotyping, and prejudice... on the part of healthcare providers may contribute to racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare” (p. 122). Stereotypes and biases can also interfere with the quality of nursing care (Luna, 2002).

The first step in the cultural competence process is understanding personal attitudes, beliefs, and values regarding other cultures (Campinha-Bacote, 2002; Luna, 2002). It's time for you to begin the process.

Complete the Learning Activities listed then define yourself culturally on the form below.


Participant Name:
     

Participant email address:

1. My race is:

2. My ethnicity is:

3. What piece of information in the module thus far has affected your self-definition the most?

          
(Use the browser back button to return to this page after submitting form.)


   

 
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