This Essay will identify values and beliefs that I bring with me into a nursing career and explain what motivated me to become a nurse. This assignment will use literature to show that I understand the terms cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity and cultural safety. The last part of the essay will discuss how I will integrate my beliefs and values into nursing practice to ensure that I will be culturally safe.
Culture is a set of values, beliefs, and behaviours which are shared by a group of people for many generations. It is a way of life like eating, greeting, celebrating festivals and special life events. Culture includes age, gender, occupation, ethnic origin, religious beliefs, and disability. I am an ethnic Nepali by birth and my culture comprises of typical food habits, living in a joint family, special Nepali dress, Hindu religion, Nepali language. The values that I bring with me are being respectful, trustworthy, cooperative, honest, patience and to remain within boundaries. These attributes are being passed on to me by my grandmother. Helping others in trouble and in pain comes naturally to me. I believe in being professional, respecting others dignity and privacy, being competent, to communicate effectively, respect the rights of others and work in harmony with colleagues. I will be bringing all these values and beliefs into nursing as a career which has also motivated me to become a nurse.
Nurses need to know the terms cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity and cultural safety in order to improve the health and well-being of health consumers. These concepts are interrelated with each other. Cultural awareness is being aware of one’s own culture and realization that there is a difference. (Nursing Council New Zealand NCNZ, 2011). . Manson says, (cited in Measuring culture competence, 2017), at present, cultural responsibility is examined by nursing peers who confirm that team members have an understanding of cultural safety, cultural awareness, and cultural competencies. Nurses need to increase cultural awareness in order to adapt to people of diverse cultures
Cultural sensitivity is a realization of difference and is able to understand its effect on others (NCNZ, 2011). Cultural sensitivity is realizing that similarities and differences exist between persons. It means that every individual is unique and one culture is no better than the other. (Wepa, 2015) “Cultural awareness and sensitivity training can be useful ways to self-reflect” (P.193). Nurses need to be aware that there is a difference and to inquire how their behaviour can impact on others being a powerful bearer of their own culture.
Cultural safety is being aware of one’s own culture, values and beliefs and to respect other’s culture, values, and beliefs. It deals with the client’s experience of a nursing service with an authority to comment and assist in getting a better health outcome. Unsafe cultural practice will lead to action which declines the self-perception and wellness of an individual (NCNZ, 2011). Cultural safety may be an environment in which health consumers are physically, spiritually, emotionally, psychologically as well as socially safe. The clients could get more satisfaction by the care delivered if nurses apply the client’s cultural beliefs and practices in their care plan (Mortensen, 2010). Cultural safety is equally related to Treaty of Waitangi, Maori Health, and Nursing Practice (NCNZ, 2011).These standards and competencies are incorporated into nursing practice in order to improve the health and wellbeing of Maori health consumers (NCNZ, 2011).
The values and beliefs as identified above are essential skills for the nursing profession. These can be easily integrated into nursing practice by accepting that every individual is unique and respecting other’s culture, values and beliefs without imposing my own. Nurses need to follow all the standard of practice of nursing profession like the code of ethics, code of conduct, professional boundaries and code of rights in order to become competent and to deliver safe healthcare service. Nurses should be aware of their own culture and the power relation concept which will keep them culturally safe as well as their clients (NCNZ, 2011). Besides people of Maori origin and European descent, New Zealand has people from other diverse ethnic groups. Montayre (cited in “Aged Care”, 2018) points out that nurse in aged care in the future will need to adapt to ethnically diverse community groups. Nurses need to respect and understand clients’ differences and intervene appropriately to provide culturally safe health care service and to meet clients’ goal.
This essay has explained the values and beliefs that I brought with me into nursing as a career and explained what motivated me to become a nurse. This essay has defined and supported by the literature, the terms cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity and cultural safety, concluding that interrelation of these is important for better health outcome for the clients. Finally, this essay has discussed how I will integrate my beliefs and values without imposing my own culture into my nursing practice to ensure that I am culturally safe.
Aged Care: The challenge of diverse communities.(2018, April).Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand,24(3),40.
Manson, L.(2017).Measuring cultural competence.Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand,23(10),30.
Mortensen, A.(2010).Cultural safety: does the theory work in practice for culturally and linguistically diverse groups?. Nursing Praxis in New Zealand,26(3),6-17.
Nursing Council New Zealand (2011) ISBN 978-0-908662-38-8
Stodart, K.(2018).Workforce carries load of cultural misunderstanding.Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand,24(1),24-25.
Wepa, D.(2015).Cultural safety: in Aotearoa New Zealand.Port Melbourne, Australia: Cambridge University Press.