Cultural Competence: A Key Element to Success in Forensic Nursing


Cultural competence is a building block vital to the construction of a solid foundation for success in the forensic nursing arena. Knowledge, understanding, and acceptance that cultural diversity exists are the first steps towards achieving cultural competence. Apart from one’s own cultural beliefs, customs, and behaviors, the forensic nurse must demonstrate an ability to communicate among various cultures, in addition to serving as a liaison between them. This skilled communication will facilitate health care delivery appropriate to the client’s cultural background in the following aspects: 1. Illness and injuries can be better defined and under-stood. 2. The individual needs of the client can be respected and addressed. 3. A sense of control on the part of the client can be provided and achieved. Cultural assessments by the forensic nurse must be void of insensitivity and stereotyping, and must be directed individually to each client’s uniqueness in order for cultural competence to exist and flourish in the clinical forensic setting.

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