The United States is increasingly becoming a multiethnic, multicultural group of citizens. Life is no longer similar for all individuals. As people migrate they bring with them their cultural views, beliefs and language (Bhugra and Becker, 2005). In order to live together with respect, dignity and without prejudice for all, the country has had to educate itself on the beliefs and values of these vast cultures migrating to what they perceive as a land of opportunity whether this be for economic, education, or political reasons. For the most part in today’s world, cultural groups are intertwined in where they live, work, and attend school. To maintain a civil society, awareness and respect of the various groups needs to be addressed, beginning in the home, schools, and workplace. As discussed by Leininger and McFarland (as cited in Barker, 2009), culture is a way of life that is learned throughout the generations. Although one would hope that cultural education and acceptance begins at home, it is an ongoing process that all individuals should embrace to avoid prejudice and promote harmony in these diverse groups.
Cultural Awareness and Healthcare
Healthcare is an area where cultural can play a major role in the overall health and wellness of an individual. Providers need to be sensitive to the patient’s traditional ways of medicine while combined with the traditional western method of medicine. Healthcare professionals also need to be aware of the plethora of languages and dialects that are now part of the American population as well as religious beliefs. Barker (2009) identifies these factors to prevent bias or stereotyping of the patient. Nurses are patient advocates and to ensure that the patient needs are being met, this group will need to utilize their skills to bridge that gap between cultural competence and cultural conflict. For nurses to be able to effectively do this there needs to be
References: Barker, A. (2009). Advanced practice nursing. Sudbury, MA. Jones and Bartlett Publishers. Bhugra, D., & Becker, M. (2005). Migration, cultural bereavement and cultural identity. World Psychiatry. 4(1), 18–24. Graham, L. & Cates, J. (2006). Health care and the sequestered cultures: a perspective from the old order Amish. Journal of Multicultural Nursing and Health. 12(3), 60-66.