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Cultural Competency and Verbal Communication Norms Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: May 11th, 2022

Cultural competence implies the ability to distinguish the behavioral and attitudinal peculiarities of individuals from different cultural, racial, and ethnic groups. The most evident difference can be observed in verbal communication norms. For example, individuals in the Asian communities value the demonstration of respect in interpersonal communication and usually show higher appreciation for those in superior social positions (Cherry & Jacob, 2017). Therefore, when working with the representatives of this cultural group, a nurse may prefer to adhere to more formal communication styles, especially when interacting with older individuals or males since they are normally associated with greater authority and play major roles in their families’ decision-making (“How culture influences health beliefs,” n.d.). Cherry and Jacob (2017) also note that Native Americans usually speak in a low tone of voice, expecting others to be attentive. Thus, it would be disrespectful on the part of a nurse to ask an Indian American patient to speak up.

Additionally, it is essential to pay attention to different groups’ non-verbal communication norms, such as eye contact. The majority of cultural communities regard direct eye contact as a sign of disrespect and rudeness. Moreover, Hispanics view the avoidance of eye contact as a sign of attentiveness and respect (Cherry & Jacob, 2017). Thus, to improve patients’ perception of communication quality, a nurse should alter their non-verbal communication styles according to diverse individuals’ behavioral expectations.

Culturally defined health beliefs and traditional practices also play a significant role in individuals’ health-related decision-making. For example, in many cultures, different herbs are frequently used for self-care (Cherry & Jacob, 2017). Therefore, it would be appropriate to ask a patient whether he or she prefers traditional or contemporary medical practices and devise intervention strategies according to his or her preferences. However, to do so effectively, a nurse must, first of all, improve the knowledge of traditional approaches to self-care in distinct cultural groups and explore each of them in greater detail.

References

Cherry, S., & Jacob, S. R. (2017). Contemporary nursing: Issues, trends, & management (7th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

(n.d.) Web.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Cultural Competency and Verbal Communication Norms." May 11, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/cultural-competence-definition/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Cultural Competency and Verbal Communication Norms'. 11 May.

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