Why Is Ethnocentrism an Important Concept for Nurses?

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  • Topic: Culture, Sociology of culture, Nursing
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Why is Ethnocentrism an Important Concept for Nurses?
Written By Louisa Gibbons
2011
Ethnocentrism is an important concept for nurses to understand because it has a huge impact on the way we will deliver nursing care. Ethnocentrism is defined by Germov, (2005) 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.” (p.152). To understand the term ethnocentrism properly we also need to be aware of what culture actually is as it is commonly misconceived. “Culture refers to the beliefs and practices common to any particular group of people.” (Nursing Council, 2009, p. 4). “Culture includes, but is not restricted to, age or generation, gender, sexual orientation, occupation and socioeconomic status, ethnic origin or migrant experience, religious or spiritual belief and disability.” (Dempsey, French, Hillege & Wilson 2009, p. 107). As nurses we are in charge of the care and holistic well being of our patients. To make sure that the best and most positive outcome is achieved we need to be aware of ethnocentrism and how we can treat each of our patients as an individual. According to (Nursing Council, 2009, p. 7) nursing care “provides consumers of nursing services with the power to comment on practices and contribute to the achievement of positive health outcomes and experiences.” We want the best for our patients, and to get them to comply we need to effectively come up with an appropriate care plan that will work for the patient and the nurses caring for them. We are our patients advocate to protect them, work together with them in a partnership which allows them to take part in their care plan and get them to participate by setting realistic and achievable goals with them. Because being ethnocentric can often end with a negative result we as nurses need to be aware that we are potentially being ethnocentric and therefore...
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