Leininger (2001) has stated that "The primary goals of transcultural community - based nursing are to help people of different and similar cultures maintain their health, prevent illnesses or disabilities, and die in culturally congruent and meaningful ways" (p.220).Thus this innovative form of nursing is becoming increasingly important in health care.
In light of the above facts it is necessary to promote cultural sensitivity among nurses providing community health care, identify the challenges that are likely to hinder the implementation of a nursing framework that seeks to ensure culturally competent care and to pinpoint the resources available in the community that assist in transcultural nursing. In doing so it would be possible to ascertain practices that are conducive to promoting transcultural nursing and to determine ways in which it might be practiced more effectively.
In order to promote cultural sensitivity among nurses it is important to impress upon them the significant role culture plays in individual lives. Cultural beliefs and tenets exert a profound influence on the way people choose to act, live their lives and make their decisions. According to Leininger (2001), "Humans are culturally rooted, acting and making decisions daily that are based on largely unspoken values, beliefs, and cultural community lifeways" (p. 222). Keeping this in mind, nurses are likely to be more sensitive to cultural practices which they might otherwise dismiss as eccentric or ridiculous. In this context, it is possible to promote cultural sensitivity by putting nurses into intimate contact with their own often forgotten cultural roots. This will enable them to identify with their patients who care deeply for their culture.
Nurses should be made cognizant of the fact that incorporating transcultural knowledge and skills with their existing scientific practices can go a long way in making things easier and more effective for them when it comes to dealing with patients, particularly the recalcitrant ones. Failure to provide care that is compatible with individual cultures is likely to be met with resistance, hostility, fear and a lack of cooperation. This can impair or even endanger the health of the patient. And since the spirit of community nursing is all about helping in the healing process and putting patients on the road to recovery, nurses should pull out all stops to ensure that the patient's health does not suffer because of their own cultural ignorance.
The scope for community - based transcultural nursing is on the rise as immigrants from every corner of the globe throng to the United States of America. Taking care of their health needs entails being aware of their cultural beliefs and expectations. Nurses need to be aware of this fact in order to serve the patient to the best of their abilities, otherwise they might find their existing skills are obsolete and useless in the face of increasing ethnic diversity. Leininger (2001) reports that "Many nurses said they had to almost completely relearn nursing from a different perspective because many of their previous nursing ideas did not fit with specific cultures" (p. 222). Such reports from experienced nurses along with information on multiculturalism and its impact on community health care management may be used to promote cultur