Nursing Education and Cultural Awareness

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 Cultural Awareness In Nursing Education

Nursing Education and Cultural Awareness

What Is Cultural Awareness,cultural Awareness and Impact on Nursing,Effects of Cultural Awareness on Nursing Care,Needs of Cultural Awareness In Nursing Education.

What Is Cultural Awareness

    Cultural awareness is the process of examining one's feelings and thoughts in regard to the effect on interactions with others (Giger et al., 2007). Culture involves elements that are learned including way of life, norms, symbols, and other aspects of living that are often shared from one generation to the next (Leininger & McFarland, 2002) Gender, age, religious affiliation, nationality. and other factors are described as primary characteristics of culture Secondary characteristics of culture include education, occupation, and socioeconomic and additional factors (Giger et al, 2007). 

    It is important to develop an awareness of one's own cultural and professional values to prevent engaging in cultural imposition and ethnocentrism Cultural imposition is imposing on another culture one's beliefs and values (Leininger & McFarland, 2002) Ethnocentrism is the belief that one's own culture or view is superior (Douglas et al, 2011). Awareness of cultural viewpoints and the effect this has on interactions is a major step towards cultural competence.

Cultural Awareness and Impact on Nursing 

    As the population of the United States becomes more diverse (United States Census Bureau, 2010), striving for cultural competence is imperative in nursing education and practice. Cultural awareness is a key construct in developing cultural competence (American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), 2008). Critical reflection of one's own values, beliefs, and culture in addition to having awareness of the effect of these on culturally congruent care are part of the Standards of Practice for Culturally Competent Nursing Care (Douglas et al, 2011) The American Academy of Nursing ( AAN).    

    Expert Panel Report: Developing Cultural Competence to Eliminate Health Disparities in Ethnic Minorities and Other Vulnerable Populations indicates that eliminating health disparities must begin in educational settings, which includes curricula that integrates with tent to develop sensitivity and competence in health care (Cager et al. , 2007).Qualitative studies have shown that reflective journals during international cultural immersion may aid in cultural awareness (Curtain, Martins, Schwartz Barcott, DiMaria, & Ogando, 2013; Larson, Ott, & Miles, 2010). 

    When the resources are not available for international immersion, the teaching application of virtual communities shows promise in regard to cultural awareness (Giddens, North, Carlson Sabelli, Rogers, & Fogg, 2012). Simulations, virtual experiences, and communities are emerging as supplements to learning in the classroom and clinical settings (Giddens et al., 2012). International video conference exchange may also aid in promoting cultural awareness (Kemppainen, Kim-Godwin, Mechling Kanematsu, & Kikuchi, 2012). Cultural competence curricular threads should be integrated throughout the components of the program and courses (Jeffreys, 2010).

Effects of Cultural Awareness on Nursing Care

    Becoming culturally competent requires the ability to be aware of one's own values, beliefs, and perspectives in addition to understanding these aspects in others (Jeffreys, 2010). Formal education, clinical training, and ongoing continuing education: are important in preparing nurses to provide and promote culturally congruent care (Douglas et al. 2011). Additional research. It is needed to provide more information regarding teaching, learning, and assessing cultural awareness for both the novice and experienced nurse.

Needs of Cultural Awareness In Nursing Education

    Nursing faculty and students can develop cultural awareness through assessing and understanding their own cultural background. It is important to maintain a sensitive, open attitude toward others with an awareness of potential biases. Collaborating with organizations to increase the number of nurses from minority groups (Giger et al. 2007) as well as increased diversity of faculty are recommended. The quest for cultural competence begins in nursing education and needs to be modeled by nurse educators and students through living cultural awareness with those they serve as nurse. Additional research regarding cultural awareness is needed to expand evidence-based practice.

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