The Role of the Profesional Nurse

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There are many issues which need to be considered when caring for older people who are of a cultural and linguistic diverse background. This essay will focus on these issues inconjucntion with engaging, assessing and caring for an older person who is of a cultural and linguistic diverse background.

Transcultural nursing refers to “being aware of the patients cultural health beliefs and values and incorporating these into the agreed care plan with the patients.” (Nurse dictionary). As part of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council code of conduct, all nurses need to be culturally respected of all patients especially those of non speaking English backgrounds or culturally linguistic diverse backgrounds. “This code of professional conduct for nurses sets the minimum standards for practice a professional person is expected to uphold both within and outside of professional domains in order to ensure the good standing of the nursing profession.” (ANMC conducts) Furthermore. “Nurses respect the dignity, culture and ethnicity, values and beliefs of people receiving care and treatment, and of their colleagues.” (ANMC conducts) In accordance to cultural and linguistic diverse backgrounds, these minority can be defined as; “a term used to describe people whose culture and language is different from that of English speaking, anglo celtic Australians; formerly known as non English speaking background (NESB).” (Health in Australia pg.335). Therefore as nurses, when keeping with the Australian Nursing Midwifery councils code of conducts it is mandatory that we respect the cultural needs of all patients to maintain our professionalism and professional conduct.

As Australia moves towards a more multicultural centered society, adaquete training must be provided for nurses to suit the needs of older people who are culturally and linguistic diverse backgrounds. (Pinikahana, 2002) defines multiculturalism as “to describe the existence of a range of different cultures in one country; emphasizing the fact that everyone has the right to maintain their own cultural identity within a multicultural society.” Pinikahana, 2002 also emphasizes the point made earlier about knowledge of multiculturalism and how it is developed throughout Australia, “nursing is essentially a transcultural phenomenon and that knowledge about patient’s cultural values, beliefs and practices are integral to providing holistic nursing care.” Nurses should use this knowedge gained when engaging, assessing and planning for the health care needs of older people from cultural and linguistic diverse backgrounds.

Some of the issues at hand when dealing with elderly people who are of a cultural and linguistic diverse background include; cultural competence, lack of knowledge of multicultuarilsm, respect for cultures, poor communication to NESB patients, lack of resources and poor education given to nursing staff on the diverse range of cultures.

The Australian Buereau of Statistics, 2006 comments on the diversity of cultures within Australia. This gives nurses a clear indicatin of the impact of multicultuarilism and why nurses need this education and knowledge to improve their nursing care towards older people from a CALD background. Although English is the chosen language, there are now over 200 different languages being spoken in the community. There are also 60 different languages spoken by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. This can be very difficult for nurses and other health care professionals to establish a positive communitcation bond wehen engaging, assessing and planning for the health care needs of an older person of a CALD background. The 2006 census states that in August 2006, 3.1 million people being 16% of the population spoke a languae different to English at home. In the Norther territory 54% of Indigenous people spoke an Indigenous language at home. This can also be a major factor and issue for community nurses who aren’t...
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