TITLE OF THE STUDY:
(Culturally Diverse Nursing) The perception of nurses on working with other nurses of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds and its impact on their working relationship and patient care.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Globalization has led to the creation of a new social world, one which is characterized by its cultural diversity. Cultural diversity in the nursing workforce is now becoming the common face of different healthcare organizations across the globe. The nursing workforce in Saudi Arabia relies primarily on expatriates who are recruited from different countries (AboulEnein 2002; Luna1998; Tumulty 2001). For instance, the majority of expatriate nurses working in Ministry of Health facilities are Indian and Filipino (Tumulty 2001). In addition, expatriate nurses are also recruited from North America, United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Malaysia and the Middle East countries (Aboul-Enein 2002; Luna 1998). The latest ﬁgures show that the number of Saudi nurses has increased from 9% in 1996 to 22% of the total nursing workforce. However, despite increasing interest in enrolment in different nursing education programmes, it has been estimated that 25 years will be needed to train enough Saudi nurses so that they comprise of 30% of the Kingdom’s nursing workforce (AbuZinadah 2006). As a result of this reliance on expatriate nurses to fill in the shortages for the country’s nursing requirements, the nursing workforce in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has become one characterized by a culturally and ethnically diverse population of nursing professionals. The same phenomenon can be seen to a lesser or greater extent in other parts of the world, most notably in the developed countries of North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and other parts of Middle East. Cultural Diversity in the nursing workforce has its inherent advantages and disadvantages. Caring for patients from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, culture, nationalities, and belief systems poses a great challenge for nurses. Within healthcare, a culturally diverse nursing workforce is extremely important. Nurses have the most interaction with patients and the quality and effectiveness of this care are highest where nurses and patients can speak the same language, and when nurses understand the cultural attitudes and beliefs of the patients they serve. On the other hand, an increasing number of racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious groups within the nursing workforce give rise to a multitude of healthcare concerns. Nurses have to be aware of the different cultural beliefs, values, and behaviors of their colleagues and understand how these factors influence their communication, as well as decision making and clinical practice. As more nursing colleagues enter the workforce from different cultures and nationalities, differences among nursing staff can create problems in communication and lead to conflicts that affect the workplace. Nurses have to work effectively together to give culturally appropriate and competent care to patients. This study aims to explore the perceptions of our nurses with regards to working with other nurses of different nationalities and cultural background and its impact on their working relationship and patient care. The perspectives and opinions of the nurses experiencing the phenomenon in our hospital will be presented ad verbatim as per data gathered with the use of questionnaire-guided interviews. General themes, similarities, and contrasts in the opinions of the participant nurses will be identified and presented to gain an initial understanding on how our nurses, right in the thick of experiencing cultural diversity first hand in their day to day work, not only in terms of patient population but also in the nursing workforce perceive the issue and its impact on their working relationship and patient care. An understanding on how our nurses perceive working in a culturally diverse nursing group...
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