Cultural competent care is part of our everyday practice. As defined by American Nurses Association, registered nurse competencies include the appropriate skills and tools for the culture, literacy, and language of the individuals and population served (American Nurses Association 2021, p. 93). I currently live in Florida, where almost everyone is from somewhere else. Being from somewhere else has been a conversation initiator in nearly all patient encounters. It is interesting to see where people are from and learn about their different cultures. Many people are from the united states, where English is their first language, but some patients are not. I have cared for many patients who do not speak English and have a translator at the bedside. We utilize a phone language line for communication, which is sometimes helpful.
In the previous facility I worked, we had a communication tablet on wheels; this was a television screen that was a touch screen and had different selections of language. It was a language line with all languages. You would be connected to a translator who could see you, and you see them. Having a language line tablet was an excellent tool. It is important as the patients advocate to have the knowledge and means to appropriately communicate with our patients during their most vulnerable times (Marion 2016).
Having annual training and resources can be a source of continuing education. One of the national CLAS standards is to offer and provide language assistance and education that is understandable for the patients(U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). The nursing standard I would like to incorporate to improve cultural competence would be more access to patient education based on cultural or language barriers. This education will help promote health and wellness after admission with easily understood material for positive outcomes(U.S Department of Health and Human Services).
American Nurses Association. (2021). Nursing: Scope and standards of practice (4th ed.).
Marion, Douglas, M. (Marty), Lavin, M. A., Barr, N., Gazaway, S., Thomas, E. (Libby), & Bickford, C. (2016). Implementing the New ANA Standard 8: Culturally Congruent Practice. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 22(1), 9–9. https://doi.org/10.3912/OJIN.Vol22No01PPT20 (Links to an external site.)
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services Standards. https://www.thinkculturalhealth.hhs.gov/clas/standards