ANA Standard 8: Culturally Congruent Practice
Nurses work in a culturally diverse environment, with patients with different cultural beliefs, values, and worldviews. Hence, it is critical for the nurses to be able to serve all the different individuals, taking advantage of the diversity to provide positive care rather than in a discriminatory manner (Marion et al., 2016). This is the basis for the development of the new Standard 8: Culturally Congruent Practice by the American Nurses Association (ANA) in 2015.
In nursing practice, culturally congruent practice suggests development of a number of competencies that make one an effective nurse. There are major areas within which the nurses can implement the standard. One of these areas is professional development. With the related competency, nurses should be committed to lifelong learning (Marion et al., 2016). According to Bhat et al. (2016), major aspects of health care, including cultures keep on changing, explaining the need to continue learning as a means of developing the knowledge of the different cultures. Besides, nurses should perform self-assessment as the means for having an understanding of one’s own culture and the way this impact on the care provided to individuals from other cultures (Marion et al., 2016). By performing a personal inventory, one is able to understand personal biases that might negatively impact on the relationship between the nurse and the client.
Application of cultural congruent practice follows the understanding of personal cultural values, beliefs, worldviews, and the way they impact on the care provided to the patient. With this understanding, the nurse can be able to effectively communicate to the client in such a way that prevents interpersonal conflicts (Holland, 2017). Intercultural communication is critical because the nurse is expected to provide care to patients from diverse cultural backgrounds. Hence, the nurse should design a congruent practice where quality care is delivered in a respectful environment. Patients should not only feel respected but also feel that their beliefs and values are respected in the decisions made by the nurses relating to their care (Marion et al., 2016).
Implementing culturally congruent practice is the basis for ensuring that no person is left out of the care process because of cultural hindrances. Culturally diverse and vulnerable consumers of health care will have their needs adequately considered. When working with such individuals, the nurse should be able to demonstrate respect, equity, and empathy (Marion et al., 2016). The nurse is capable of understaffing the cultural preferences of the consumers and their impact on the care process. Understanding the stage of the consumer’s acculturation is possible for a nurse who has obtained the competencies (Garneau & Pepin, 2015). Lifelong learning is the basis for understanding the preferences of the patients from different cultures. Application of knowledge and competencies forms the basis for effective and quality care.
Cultures come about with major resources and skills that can be useful in providing care in a diverse environment. The nurse should use the skills and resources to establish a nursing practice in which every person feels understood and respected. Such is an environment devoid of discrimination and prejudices based on cultural differences. A nurse with the competencies is well suited to create a positive environment for all and understands the negative effects of discrimination and stereotypes. A culturally congruent practice is one where people from diverse cultures are served with utmost respect and care.