Cultural competence in action : an interview study with registered nurses in Israel

University essay from Sophiahemmet Högskola

Abstract: Background The population in Israel is heterogeneous with inhabitants from diverse backgrounds with different religious affiliations, languages and customs. The diversity of cultural backgrounds can create a challenge for the healthcare system. Cultural competence is stated to be a necessary ability of a nurse when caring for culturally diverse persons, further promoted by the Israeli Ministry of health. Aim The aim of the study is to describe Registered Nurses experiences of working with cultural competence in caring for persons with culturally diverse backgrounds in Israel. Method A qualitative design was used. Five semi-structured telephone interviews with registered nurses working in a city in Israel, was conducted. The data was analysed using a qualitative content analysis with an inductive approach. Findings Four categories were identified in the findings: Understanding cultural needs, Addressing cultural needs, Challenges in caring for culturally diverse persons and Incidential finding: Risk of stereotyping, all further represented with the theme: Embracing patient’s cultural needs In healthcare. Approaches to understand cultural needs emphasised on seeing the whole person and being sensitive to their needs, depending on clear communication, although neglect of cultural needs occurred. Acceptance and respect for persons choices as well as adaptions made both in nurses encounter and hospital environment. Experiences of cultural differences evoked feelings of inconvenience and insecurities. Incidental findings show stereotyping as a challenge. Conclusion Approaches and behaviours in line with the values of cultural competence were learned through in-practice experiences. Implementation of the recommended guidelines in healthcare could further enhance nurse’s cultural competence and guidance when caring for culturally diverse persons.

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