Cultural Sensitivity

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Without any doubt that our background, culture, heritage, and beliefs as nurses will definitely affect how we approach a client of a different cultural background.  However, in forensic investigation as nurses or health care professionals we all have a set of rules and regulations that we have to follow to complete an assessment, and collect a set of meaningful data that will affect our results in the future.  For instance, a victim of sexual assault, she comes from a tradition that thinks or perceives this act as a death sentence for the entire family.  Her naked body which could only be seen by her husband is now violated by a criminal.  How would manipulating her already scarred body to collect data for our investigation make the family feel?  How can we make the family trust us with their member and help catch “the bad guys”?  It is all their!! We can tactfully approach this situation/family if we follow our nursing skills we were taught.  Understanding cultural differences and respecting it such as our own are essential parts in forensic nursing.  As nurses we have heard it, studied it, and experienced it; it is time we review our materials and practice it like we mean it.

Original Post:
May 13, 2009
Cultural Sensitivity
Being able to treat a patient from another
culture is quite challenging and takes alot of patience and
understanding, when communication is an issue. These patients may not
have the same language, health practices, beliefs and values as your
own, which adds extra challenges. How we interact will depend on our
own heritage, culture and our atitude and view we may have towards
other cultures. Cultural compentacy and sensitivity is key when
assisting these patients. They have as much a right to compentent,
health care as any culture. The United States Department of Health and
human services (USDHHS), Office of Minority Health (OMH) took things a
step further. Any one living in the United States, is offered
appropiate culturally and linguistically health care services. To be
able to meet these requiremens first you need to be culturally
sensitive, don’t sterotype and develope a template that can be used in
the cultural assessment of the patient and family.

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