Cultural competence is defined as possessing the skills and knowledge necessary to appreciate, respect, and work with individuals from different cultures. It is a concept that requires self-awareness, awareness and understanding of cultural differences, and the ability to adapt to clinical skills and practices as needed (London et al. 2003). In the Orthodox Jewish community, there are many strict cultural guidelines that the women must adhere to. Within the following paper I will provide examples that demonstrate why cultural competency is important in nursing.
When seeking treatment in the Orthodox Jewish law,it permits men and women from being alone together unless they are close family member, or married to each other. This law applies when the women is being examined by a physician or a health care provider. For the Orthodox Jewish woman, a female provider is preferable, but the woman will choose the provider she feels is qualified to provide her with the best quality of care and who has the best reputation in his/her field (Abdelhak 2005). Spousal involvement in the delivery of a child is limited; a nurse may misunderstand a husbands lack of support as being neglectful to his wife, the nurse is not being culturally sensitive to the Orthodox couple. The nurse must understand according to the Jewish laws, if a woman is unclean with mucous discharge, bloody show, or amniotic fluid, The husband must exit the room as he is not allowed stay in the room with his wife while she is being examined, unless she is fully covered and will not be exposed to him. To be considered clean again after childbirth or menstruation , the women must go to a ritual bath called the " Mikveh". The Orthodox Jewish women must consult with their Rabbi for approval of procedures or treatments; amniocentesis or elective cesarean sections. In such cases Orthodox Jewish couples may call their rabbi to ask for guidance on the subject or to get a blessing from him that all will go...
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