Providing nursing care for older adults is a transcultural experience. The context and process of nursing often involve individuals from very different cultures and ways of life. Transcultural knowledge of the various cultural groups in the health care setting can often minimize frustration and cultural conflict between the older adult client, nursing, and other health care providers. As the world population of elderly persons increases, lifestyle changes and population controls will limit the availability of family caregivers. In the shrinking world, nurses must become familiar with ways needs are expressed by people from different countries, about the various responses to care, and accepted ways of providing this care.
Increasingly, health care providers are dealing not only with older patients, but also with socio-cultural diversity among older patients and their families. Socio-cultural factors such as race, ethnicity, culture, and religion often affect health-promoting and health-seeking behaviors of individuals and ? when residing in an institution ? also affect access and delivery of health services. All of this points to a need to understand diversity and to examine the repercussions of that variety in the social and the caring process. Thus, to ensure that health professionals will provide care that is sensitive to socio-cultural diversity, it is important that education dealing with cultural diversity is available.
This program is presented to enhance the nurse's knowledge of multicultural diversity. The nature of cultural and social differences among the elderly and the expectations various others have of them will be explored; as well as the care of culturally diverse elderly persons as related to health and social care, approaches to health and illness; and ways they deal with pain. The importance of communication to bridge differing expectations, expressions, and responses to health care will be stressed throughout the program. Areas of assessment and appropriate interventions for ethnic elderly persons are explored. NOTE: It is impossible to explore every culture in this program, but it is hoped that readers of this program expand their awareness of cultural diversity among persons they care for, staff they employ, and others they come in contact with.
The individual completing this course will understand:
- Briefly discuss the importance of being familiar with key points of transcultural nursing.
- Identify three cultural values of Anglo-Americans, African-Americans, and Mexican-American persons.
- Identify two cultural stumbling blocks and two cultural building blocks.
- Identify three major theories of disease causation and provide an example of each.
- Give one example of a cultural dietary practice.
- Give three example of how religion or beliefs can influence patient care.
- Compare how culture influences family structure and relationships.
- Provide one example of folk medicine.
- Identify three ways of communication that may be misinterpreted by persons from different cultures.
- List three ways to facilitate communication among members of ethnic groups.
- Compare how individuals from Hispanic and Asian groups may express pain.
- List three areas to identify when assessing older adults.
- Describe two steps that will help the health care provider become more sensitive to cultural diversity.