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
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.