Though the nurse was a little tough by insisting on the medication which would improve him and indicating that there
was no reason for him not to take it, the patient obliged. She reminded him that this was the protocol in the post operative ward and the patient’s comfort was foremost in her mind. Her frustrated attitude was because she could not gauge why patients refuse necessary medications which could only benefit them.
Deep down in my heart, I could understand why the patient refused to take the medication. The nurse was right in carrying out her duty but she could have utilized her knowledge of cultural diversity and respected the patient’s wishes. The Chinese believe that medications must be a last resort. Many in my country only take them when the pain is unbearable. This idea may seem old-fashioned to the modern world but they work for us.
Demographic changes have reflected an increasingly diverse population globally. The immigration of people of varying races, ethnicity and cultures into America has similarly changed the demography. This increasingly multicultural profile of the American population requires that nurses provide culturally competent care in nursing. Leininger (1999) defined transcultural nursing “as a formal area of study, research, and practice which focuses on care beliefs based on culture, values and practices to help cultures or subcultures, not just maintain or regain their health system but also help facing disabilities or death in culturally congruent and beneficial caring ways” (Leininger, 1999).
Hospitalized patients and their families are subjected to numerous stresses. If nurses lack cultural awareness and fail to provide culturally competent care, patients are more likely to experience increased stress and inadequate care provided by nurses. The understanding and provision of culturally competent care by nurses will make a difference to the health outcomes of many cultural