The key to cultural competence and awareness in the nursing profession is the ability to appreciate and understand the values and belief systems of the patients.  And to appreciate and be aware of my own as well. This will insure that I do not become biased or prejudicial against someone who’s values or beliefs differ from my own. 

I need to realize that the achievement of cultural competence is a process. It is a commitment that I make to myself to be aware of how I present myself, and that all encounters with all patients are cultural encounters. This extends to the patient, patients family, and even the community in which the patient lives.

I need to be culturally knowledgeable about the diversity of patients in order to understand them in being able to provide the best care.  This includes gaining educational knowledge about the various physical, and biological diseases that affect the health of patients of different cultures.  I need to strengthen my cultural skills to be successful in attaining histories and physical examinations, for a diverse group of patients, so that I may be competent in my achievement.  While at the same time being sensitive to patients needs.

My ability to be culturally competent will depend largely on my ability to work closely with patients who are culturally diverse.  I will need to be aware of my verbal and non-verbal communications at all times.  Also, I need to be aware of the fact that some gestures could be viewed as offensive by some cultures.  Learning a new language would be a great way to become culturally empowered in providing the best care for patients and understanding their needs.

My success relies on my dedication and commitment to patients.  I need to focus on my problem solving skills, be sincere, caring, and flexible.  Having the motivation and desire to succeed and to provide the best care possible, will make all of the difference.

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