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Social and Cultural Influences in Nursing Practice Essay

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Updated: Jan 5th, 2021

Introduction

A personality defines one’s approach toward professional choices, thus creating a unique philosophy and helping to develop one’s own ethics, value system, and nursing strategies. The specified phenomenon is especially important for understanding the professional growth of nurses since social and cultural influences determine their ability to build a conversation with the target population and meet its needs. A vast number of factors including socioeconomic, sociocultural, ethnic, and religious ones, to name just a few, comprise a nurse’s personality and affect their decision-making process in the workplace.

Therefore, it is desirable for a nurse to have a multicultural legacy that could assist them in creating a connection with diverse populations and addressing the needs of vulnerable groups as effectively as possible. Incorporating the elements of the African American and Cherokee Indian culture, understanding the spiritual aspects of Christianity (particularly, Baptism), and having a college experience, have not only a diverse background but also the skills that will help me to gain new multicultural knowledge and establish cross-cultural communication with patients.

My Cultural Background

When considering the cultural influences that have left the greatest impact on my personality, I must mention the African American culture, the elements of which have surrounded me throughout my entire life. Born in an African American family, I have a profound understanding of the issues that affect people of the African American community. The specified knowledge is crucial for a nurse, who needs to be aware of the factors that play a pivotal role in shaping a patient’s health and affecting their well-being.

Thus, having an in-depth understanding of the prejudices that African American people have to encounter and fight, economic concerns, the absence of the knowledge and skills required to maintain good health, and other problems, I can design the nursing strategy that will help make a difference (Chlebowy et al, 2015). Specifically, I can contribute to designing a program aimed at building awareness within the target community. In addition, as someone who remains connected to the community, I can help build trust between a patient and a nurse, which is essential for a successful treatment.

Family’s Cultural Legacy

In addition to having a strong link to the African American community, I also have Cherokee Indian descent. While I do not possess the intrinsic understanding of the culture and do not know every aspect thereof, it is a part of my identity because of my Cherokee Indian grandparents. Having had a strong influence on my childhood and formative years by teaching me about their values and philosophy, my grandparents have passed a sizeable portion of Cherokee culture to me. As a result, I can communicate with the representatives of the Cherokee culture without major misunderstandings and even build a strong connection with them.

The specified aspect of my identity can be seen as crucial to the successful management of my nursing responsibilities. For example, when encountering patients of Cherokee descent, I can establish a positive dialogue with them. Moreover, my knowledge of the specified culture will inform me about the factors to which Cherokee patients are subjected, as well as possible hindrances in administering a particular treatment to them (Mera, 2016).

In addition, the combination of the African American and Cherokee Indian legacies has contributed to the acquisition of multicultural communication skills for me as a nurse. Being aware of the problems that an intercultural conversation may entail, I am capable of locating the specified hindrances and remove them to ensure a complete understanding of patients’ needs. The specified ability also implies managing some of the myths associated with healthcare that patients from diverse cultural backgrounds may have. As a result, the quality of care increases steeply.

In addition, the fact that a single mother raised me has played an important role in my professional growth. While I have felt the lack of a father figure in my life, I have learned to appreciate the connection that my mother and I share. As a result, I recognize the need for patients to receive active support from their family members (Olwit, Musisi, Leshabari, & Sanyu, 2015). When considering an intervention or therapy, I always assign supportive roles to a patient’s family members and ensure that they take an active part in the process of therapy. Thus, the recovery takes place at a much faster pace.

Religious Beliefs and Values

In addition to having a multicultural background, I am also a Baptist. As a Christian, I am also aware of other traditions associated with my religion and know an impressive amount of information about Christianity, in general. My beliefs do not serve as constraints for practicing nursing in the target community. Quite the contrary, the Christian values, and ethics that I follow help me focus on promoting well-being and focus on the needs of vulnerable populations, adopting a patient-centered approach.

Therefore, my religious beliefs have affected my personality to a considerable degree, allowing me to accept the essential principles of nursing such as nonmaleficence, beneficence, justice, and autonomy (Stewart & Scott, 2018). Whenever an ethical dilemma associated with a patient’s well-being appears, I always choose the solution that leads to the best patient outcomes and meets the needs of all parties involved. Moreover, I ensure that my religious beliefs do not make me break the principles of ethics in nursing or harm a patient in any way. Instead, I tend to use these values to create a connection with the community to promote patient education.

In addition, the specified religious beliefs, particularly, the emphasis on nonmaleficence, beneficence, and justice, are crucial for establishing a proper leadership strategy within a nursing setting. Specifically, supported by essential Christian principles, nonmaleficence and beneficence will prevent the instances of negative attitudes toward patients. As a result, the foundation for improving recovery rates among patients will be created.

Education as a Social Factor

As stressed above, I have always paid significant attention to learning as not only an important career factor but also an integral part of my being. I enjoy acquiring new information and using them to grow personally and professionally. Therefore, my academic experience has become the gateway to enhancing my nursing skills. Needless to say, the education that I received has helped me to learn more about nursing, its crucial principles, and the relevant information. Specifically, I have developed the skills that will allow me to diagnose a health issue, identify the available tests, and determine the most efficient treatment strategy.

However, my academic experience also involved constant communication with teachers and fellow students, who belonged to different cultural backgrounds. Due to high diversity levels, I learned to establish a dialogue with a person from any background. The specified ability is crucial for a nurse since it helps to build trust-based relationships with a patient, as well as communicate with other nurses.

Moreover, the identified skills have also contributed to me acquiring the ability to work in an interdisciplinary team (Al Sayah, Szafran, Robertson, Bell, & Williams, 2014). Conversing with classmates and teachers has also taught me that conflicts are inevitable in a diverse team, and these confrontations should be seen as a chance to learn more about opponents. Finally, the education that I have received combined with the background from which I come create the opportunity for me to build a rapport with people from all socioeconomic environments.

Professional Choices and Their Impact

The decisions that I have made when building my career have also affected me from both personal and professional perspectives. The decision to become an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) and a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP) has shaped my approach toward nursing significantly since it allowed me to explore different facets of nursing practice. For instance, as a CRNP, I have developed the skills necessary for identifying symptoms and determining possible diagnoses fast.

In addition, I am aware of various methods of treating a range of diseases, and I acquire new knowledge about the subject matter regularly. By familiarizing myself with the latest studies regarding common health concerns, I extrapolate strategies for managing specific health issues, in general (Neese, 2017). Afterward, I use the specified knowledge to adjust the existing strategies for handling health crises within specific communities. As a result, vulnerable groups receive the treatment that provides the best possible outcomes within a short amount of time, reducing the length of stay, and preventing the development of nosocomial infections.

The skills that I have acquired as an APRN have also helped me to improve the quality of care to a considerable extent. For instance, I have recognized the significance of family therapy as the means of promoting patient well-being (Bryant-Lukosius et al., ‎2017). Furthermore, in the wake of the rapid globalization process, I have incorporated the phenomenon of community therapy into the range of professional strategies. As a result, I can address public health issues more effectively and embrace a wider range of patients.

Conclusion

Since a nurse’s personality plays an essential role in the management of patients’ needs, my diverse personal background is bound to serve as the foundation for catering to the needs of a wide range of vulnerable groups and communities. The specified skill is especially important in the context of the globalized society, where a nurse has to adjust therapeutic strategies and selected interventions to the unique characteristics of patients.

Although it is practically impossible to be aware of the needs and characteristics of every culture represented in the global society, a nurse needs to have the experience of multicultural communication. Thus, a nurse will develop the learning skills that will allow adjusting to the sociocultural environment of a certain community and develop new approaches toward patients and vulnerable groups.

As a result, a nurse will obtain numerous opportunities for encouraging patient education and building patient-nurse communication. Therefore, with my diverse background and the propensity toward learning more about other cultures and patients’ needs, I will be capable of improving the quality of nursing care. Because of my legacy, experience, and personal characteristics and skills, I can engage in a cross-cultural dialogue with a member of any community, which will help me to build patient awareness rates and encourage patient education.

References

Al Sayah, F., Szafran, O., Robertson, S., Bell, N. R., & Williams, B. (2014). Nursing perspectives on factors influencing interdisciplinary teamwork in the Canadian primary care setting. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 23(19-20), 2968-2979. Web.

Bryant-Lukosius, D., Valaitis, R., Martin-Misener, R., Donald, F., Peña, L. M., & Brousseau, L. (2017). Advanced practice nursing: A strategy for achieving universal health coverage and universal access to health. Revista latino-Americana de Enfermagem, 25(2826), 1-11. Web.

Chlebowy, D. O., El-Mallakh, P., Myers, J., Kubiak, N., Cloud, R., & Wall, M. P. (2015). Motivational interviewing to improve diabetes outcomes in African Americans adults with diabetes. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 37(5), 566-580. Web.

Mera, J. (2016). . Web.

Neese, B. (2017). A guide to NP independent practice. Web.

Olwit, C., Musisi, S., Leshabari, S., & Sanyu, I. (2015). Chronic sorrow: Lived experiences of caregivers of patients diagnosed with Schizophrenia in Butabika Mental Hospital, Kampala, Uganda. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 29(1), 43-48. Web.

Stewart, B. A., & Scott, R. (2018). Some ethical issues in treating and caring for people with dementia. Online Journal of Health Ethics, 14(1), 29-39. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Social and Cultural Influences in Nursing Practice." January 5, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-and-cultural-influences-in-nursing-practice/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Social and Cultural Influences in Nursing Practice'. 5 January.

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