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What Is Transcultural Healthcare and Why Is It Important?

Transcultural healthcare professionals or nurses commit to being culturally sensitive and inclusive towards their various patients. According to Registered Nurse RN, “transcultural nursing is a form of nursing that uses the concept of culture to interact with patients. This nursing specialty focuses on health, comparative cultural caring and global cultures.”

It is a healthcare practice that seeks to learn about other cultures and beliefs to care for patients in the best way possible. Some cultures might have beliefs that go against certain health practices. This generates the need to find alternative methods in order to serve those patients while respecting their cultural wishes.

LibreTexts describes this as, “offering acceptable, affordable and culturally suitable care to individuals under the conditions of the current time period throughout the caring process.”

Care and Respect for All

The world consists of many diverse cultures with vastly different values and beliefs. Regardless of similarities and differences, individuals from each culture deserve healthcare that upholds good quality care. Transcultural healthcare allows patients to feel comfortable no matter their health concerns or where they receive treatment.

Registered Nurse RN shares, “since the world is interdependent, it is important to incorporate healthcare that addresses the needs of those from across the world. Nurses should always provide safe, competent and knowledgeable nursing care for those in diverse cultures.”

Being aware of the unique cultural customs throughout the world allows nurses to demonstrate their compassionate side while also taking charge of the situation and leading from a viewpoint that treats the patient with cultural sensitivity. Just as the holistic care method honors the whole individual, the transcultural approach celebrates the individual and cares for them with respect and dignity.

Reciprocal Care Interactions

IntechOpen explains that transcultural healthcare involves three types of reciprocal care interactions which benefit the patient. These three interactions include:

  1. Culture of the individual. Each person has their own beliefs that are shaped by their culture. These beliefs might contrast that of the nurse but should still be upheld and valued.
  2. Culture of the nurse. Nurses have their own valid beliefs, but they must be aware of them and determine where they fit in with patients’ comfort levels.
  3. Culture of the environment. To make the patient feel more comfortable, healthcare organizations should have cultural indicators representing particular cultures within the hospital environment.

These factors work together to ensure the healthcare experience is enjoyable and respectful for patients of all demographics. A transcultural approach helps nurses learn about the area or community in which the healthcare facility is located. Certain areas might be culturally connected to a diverse population, and it helps to understand the history of the greater community.

Additionally, nurses need to treat a patient’s family with the same transcultural healthcare approach. The patient reflects the family in certain circumstances. This will ensure family members feel confident that their loved one is being treated with the right type of care.

Cultivate Cultural Competence With a BSN Degree

One way to cultivate cultural competence in nursing practice is to further your career and earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Those who enroll in the Registered Nurse (RN) to BSN online program at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington will study contemporary issues that affect professional nursing practice, gerontological nursing, community health nursing and core concepts of leadership and management.

Students will gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to successfully compete and advance into high-demand healthcare areas that serve an increasingly aging population. Specifically, this program allows all students to understand the benefits of transcultural healthcare within the diverse communities they serve.

For example, the program’s Transcultural Healthcare course emphasizes the cultural, social, political and economic forces influencing access to and use of healthcare resources. In the Population and Community Health Nursing course, students focus on the social and ecological determinants of health for diverse patients.

Each future nursing graduate will obtain the knowledge required to advance into influential roles such as administrative, research, consulting and teaching opportunities. With the program’s accelerated nature, nurses can complete the program in as few as 12 months.

Learn more about the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s RN to BSN online program.

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