Ethnocentrism: Culture and Sound Cultural Knowledge

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The purpose of this essay is to define ethnocentrism, and to discuss the impact of ethnocentrism relating specifically to Nurses in the delivery of care. The main theme to be discussed shall be the implications entailed by nurses that are not culturally competent when providing services. Furthermore, examples will be provided relating to some of the components of ethnocentrism. The components that will be focused on are assumptions, cultural imposition and lack of therapeutic communication in nursing services, followed by how this will impact on the clients in practice. Firstly, to understand the implications of ethnocentrism relating to nursing, it must be defined. Ethnocentrism has been defined as “Viewing others from one’s own cultural perspective, with an implied sense of cultural superiority, based on an inability to understand or accept the practices and beliefs of other cultures” (Gray & Saggers, 2009). Therefore, ethnocentrism can be a barrier when a nurse is delivering culturally competent care. In addition, issues can be raised when a nurse is placed in a situation with limited or no information. An implication of this is that the nurse will most likely make a false assumption, or assumptions based on limited knowledge and experience. For example, a common assumption, is it rational for a nurse to assume that a patient will follow advice with treatment since it is based on scientific evidence (Russel, Daly, Hughes & Hoog, 2003). Subsequently, the result of the nurse assuming this, will most likely be non-compliance from the patient, as they may lack the knowledge or understanding required, also it may contradict with their own personal beliefs. Secondly, another implication of a nurse with an ethnocentric attitude is their lack of therapeutic communication. This is likely to occur when a nurse cares for international and culturally diverse persons, and can lead to a mutual sense of uncertainty and mutual sense of difficulty in establishing...
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