Cultural competence is very important in nursing. U.S. nurses are specifically educated to put aside their cultural bias and work with the patient’s cultural beliefs. This is a unique attribute of U.S.-educated nurses and helps establish effective relationships with patient’s Good provider-patient communications are very important in changing patients’ attitudes toward disease, helping them use their culture in a positive way, and empowering them to make the changes in their lives that are associated with better health outcomes.
I Iearned a long time ago that the parents of the children I see know more than I do. When I acknowledge this fact, it’s much easier to guide parents to make the changes that are needed for their children, as well as to reinforce the positive things they are already doing. There are a number of key factors that help establish a good provider-patient relationship. First, give patients respect. Introduce yourself, and explain the role you will play in their care. Don’t talk down to them. Use language the patient understands. Acknowledge positive points and accomplishments. Always think of them as people with their unique needs and beliefs.
Nurses are well positioned to establish good provider-patient relationships because of their education and training. Nursing is at the same time an art and a science and is based on the same key steps (assessment, implementation, and evaluation) of effective communication.
Patient-provider encounters should be used not only to determine the physical fitness of the patient and treat potential illnesses but also to assess the overall patient’s well-being. For example, when a twelve-year-old Hispanic girl presented with vague stomach complaints that were preventing her from attending school, we discovered that physical symptoms and causes had nothing to do with her condition.
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