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Cultural Competency Assessment of Russian Culture Case Study

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Updated: Sep 20th, 2022


This project will open an interesting and so unusual for the American people world of Russian culture and will overview the cultural background of one of my colleagues of Russian origin. Based on the Purnell Model for Cultural Competence, I will evaluate the cultural implications that may have consequences for her health and wellbeing. This project will also serve as a handout for a health care professional who happens to welcome a patient of this cultural background.

Interviewee’s Background

For the given task, I have selected one of my colleagues. N.B. comes from Russia. She currently stays in Homestead, Florida, and works in the community hospital next to this area. She moved to the United States as a teenager due to the economic crisis in Russia in 1998. She has acquired a Doctoral degree in medicine and completed a residency program in internal medicine and cardiology.

Interviewee’s Cultural and Communication Patterns

N.B.’s original language is Russian. She is bilingual and possesses advanced skills in English usage. Nevertheless, she tends to formulate some of her thoughts in English in a way closer to her original language. N.B.’s cultural communication patterns refer to contemporary urban communication patterns (Moran, Abramson, & Moran, 2014). She is a pragmatic and business-oriented person with excellent cultural skills. Her temporal relationships in this cultural group are strong. She supports strong connections with her family and friends in the country of birth, and actively socializes with her fellow countrymen here in Florida and other states. The format for names she is using fully resembles the local format. She introduces herself with her name transliterated into English.

Family Roles and Organization of the Cultural Group

N.B. has a strong respect for family values. Her family consists of her husband and two children, the twins. Father is the head of the family, and the interviewee supports him in his activities aiming to provide for the family. The husband is the main bread-winner in the family. The children have a strong respect for their parents; they also support strong connections with their grandmothers and grandfathers who stay both in the United States and Russia. Based on the findings made by Samovar, Porter, McDaniel, and Roy (2014), N.B.’s family can be evaluated as a traditional Russian family.

Overview of Lifestyle and Workforce Issues

N.B. is striving to lead a healthy lifestyle and does her best to help her family members promote their health. She tries to cook at home most of the weekdays just like it is in most Russian families (Ostrovskaya, Karabulatova, Khachmafova, Lyausheva, & Osipov, 2015). This is especially the case during the weekends.

N.B. organized one family day on Saturday when she along with her husband takes the children to the community park or another interesting location providing an opportunity to engage in rewarding activities such as games, sightseeing, or picnics. N.B. is also a hard worker. She often has to work extra hours and return home late. At work, N.B. is collaborative and demonstrates a positive outlook no matter what problems arise.

High-Risk Behaviors of the Patient’s Cultural Group

According to Hurn and Tomalin (2013), the most hazardous behavior in Russians is excessive drinking habit. However, neither N.B. nor her husband, and who is born a family of Russian immigrants in the United States, have this problem. Another common issue among Russians is domestic violence (Barker, 2015). Russian bio-cultural ecology preconditions the problem of skin cancer because most of them have white skin and originally come from the territories with very little sunshine (Read, 2013). N.B.’s family was exposed to the Chernobyl catastrophe since they come from the Bryansk region located next to the affected area. Drug metabolism issue in Russians is connected with the problem of processing alcohol-containing medicines.

Russian Nutrition Patterns

Russians tend to consume many vegetables. Their main dishes include a variety of vegetables including cabbage, beetroots, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, and green pea (Ostrovskaya et al., 2015). They often consume dishes of meat with the preference for pork, chicken, and beef. They also like fish of different kinds. Overall, their dietary habits can be considered quite healthy. However, in many families, highly-fat food is popular along with carbohydrates-containing desserts. These preferences cause a high incidence of obesity, diabetes, colon cancer, and heart disease in Russians (Barker, 2015).

Pregnancy and Childbearing Practices

Abortion is a common practice in Russian families. Still, contemporary Russian families are knowledgeable about the family planning strategies, and their adherence rates to these strategies are reported to grow (Samovar et al., 2014).

Death Rituals

Most family members take the dying family member at home (Samovar et al., 2014). The majority of Russian people prefer interment to cremation (Samovar et al., 2014). Russians believe that people have to wear black clothing during the burial procedures as a sign of respect and penitential for the dead.


In conclusion, an evaluation of N.B.’s cultural background suggests that the main health risks for her may come from their eating habits. Other possible threats are the possibility of domestic violence and a high incidence of alcohol dependence.


Barker, A. M. (2015). Advanced practice nursing. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Hurn, B. J., & Tomalin, B. (2013). Cross-cultural communication: Theory and practice. New York, N.I.: Palgrave Macmillan.

Moran, R. T., Abramson, N. R., & Moran, S. V. (2014). Managing cultural differences. London: Routledge.

Ostrovskaya, T. A., Karabulatova, I. S., Khachmafova, Z. R., Lyausheva, S. A., & Osipov, G. V. (2015). The discourse of the Russian elite in the era of “liquid” modernity as a problem of ethnic, social and cultural security. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 6(3 S4), 147.

Read, M. (2013). Culture, health and disease: Social and cultural influences on health programs in developing countries. London: Routledge.

Samovar, L., Porter, R., McDaniel, E., & Roy, C. (2014). Intercultural communication: A reader. Cengage Learning.

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