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Cultural competency is the ability to work efficiently and effectively with people from diverse ethnic, cultural, political, economical and religious backgrounds. It is being concscious and respectful of one’s values, beliefs, traditions, and customs while remaining non-judgmental or biased. Additionally, cultural competency is about developing skills to improve one’s ability to control or change personal false beliefs, assumptions, and stereo-types. (Murphy, 2011). Once you are culturally competent, then you can treat your patient speciic to their needs and build a relationship that shows empathy.
It is important to be knowledgeable and find sources of information about those who are different then you. What is important is the ability to recognize that one’s own thinking is not the only acceptable way of thinking. Cultural competence requires one to have an open-mind and have the willingness to accept others’ views. It may mean that you have to set your own beliefs aside in order to better serve others. Successful nursing practice requires self- awareness in order to be culturally competent.
One of the most significant jobs as a nurse is to be a patient advocate. This is one of the reasons cultural competence is important in nursing. (Anderson, 2012) When nurses advocate for their patients they must always respect the needs, wishes, beliefs and priorities of their patients and their families. Another way cultural competency is important in nursing practice is important effective communications between the provider and the patient. Effective communication is known to increase patient satisfaction, promote adherence to the developed plan of care, and increases good healthy outcomes for the patient. Cultural competence is imperative in order to provide high quality health care to patients from diverse social and cultural backgrounds.