5). It is important for nurses to communicate effectively in a culturally-sensitive way by taking into consideration the respective cultures of their patients.
This paper is about taking care of a 65-year Haitian male. In order to provide relevant and culturally-competent medical care, it is necessary to know some of the unique cultural beliefs and practices of the people of Haiti. The country has two official languages which are French (20% of the population) and Haitian Creole (80%) which in turn is a mixture of some Spanish, English, French, African and Arabic. This means Haitian Creole is a pidgin language that is a combination or mixture of the several languages which do not have anything much in common between them; it is also the most widely-spoken Creole language in the world.
Haitians prefer direct eye contact when communicating and there is very little personal space between two persons who are talking to each other, complemented with animated voice and expressive hand gestures; personal interaction is often very close. This is why caregivers are appreciated when they touch their patients (Colin & Paperwalla, 1996, p. 140). Most of Haitians are illiterate and need an interpreter for English whom they also tend to mistrust.
For many centuries after the island was discovered and colonized by Spain and named as Hispaniola, Roman Catholicism was the sole religion with an estimated 80% of the people who are Catholics. The rest are Protestants (16%) such as Baptists, Methodists, Mormons and Adventists while the remaining 4% believe in voodoo often called as the peoples religion. It is not surprising to hear it said that 96% of the people are Christians but 100% of the Haitians are believers in voodoo. The rich and educated people of Haiti (a very small proportion) view voodoo as the practice of black magic by ignorant people (Ngcheong-lum & Jermyn,