Cultural Awareness in Nursing Practice

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In this essay my aim is to describe and discuss my own Filipino cultural background and how it might influence my nursing practice. Culture is our way of living (Wepa, 2005). It is also shaped by our values, beliefs, norms, and practices that are shared by members of the same cultural group (Giger & Davidhizar, 1995). I will be discussing some of the values and traits that we Filipinos have in common such as pagmamano and po at opo or gestures that show respect to our elders, kagandahang loob or shared humanity, (pakikipagkapwa-tao or regard for others, bayanihan or comradeship or cooperation and lastly, tiwala sa Diyos or trust in God. I will also include some of our shared traditions and beliefs and try to link my cultural experiences to my nursing practice.

Brief Background of the Philippines

Philippine is located in Southeast Asia, with Manila as its capital city. Filipinos are basically of Malay ancestry, though proof of foreign influence can be trailed in our culture. We are actually a blend of different cultures rolled into one. For three centuries we were under the Spanish colony, as a result, there is a significant amount of Spanish and Mexican influence in our customs and traditions. Then later, under the American regime for four decades and their obvious contribution to us is the English language. Other ethnic groups such as the Chinese and Japanese have also influenced our way of living.

Pagmamano, po at opo or gestures that show respect to our elders

Pagmamano and po at opo or gestures that show respect to elders go hand in hand. Pagmamano is holding an elder’s one hand and placing on your forehead and the phrases po at opo are used to show respect and courtesy when talking to someone in authority and elder. Filipinos are not used to calling people in authority by their first names; we say their designation first before their name, as we consider calling them by their names as rude and mal educada or...
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