Community health nurses must recognize any biases or stereotypes when working with different communities. A preconceived assumption of certain attributes, characteristics, and behaviors of members of a certain group is referred as a stereotype (Falkner, 2018). People construct stereotypes form direct personal experience or from other people like the media. For example, Asians are good in math or women are bad drivers. The personal feeling or attitude toward a person or group based on the stereotype is referred to as having a bias (Falkner, 2018). Healthcare workers implicit bias by unconsciously displaying attitude that directly affects patient care based on stereotypes (Falkner, 2018). For example, a homeless patient is presumed to be more medication-seeking compared to people with a job. Although healthcare workers may want to think they are not biased, the occurrences very common (Falkner, 2018).
Cultural competence is an imperative skill for nurses and other healthcare professionals. Cultural competency allows nurses to be effective in establishing rapport with patients with proper nursing assessments and implementing interventions designed to meet the patient’s needs (Flowers, 2004). There are models that nurses can assess to provide culturally competent care. For example, the Campinha Bacote Cultural Framework Model include: cultural awareness, knowledge, skill, encounters, and desire, the process of cultural awareness (Flower, 2004). Cultural awareness involves an in-depth exploration of one’s own cultural and professional background as learning about another person’s culture does not guarantee unbiased actions. Cultural knowledge involves the process of seeking information of different ethnic groups such as through journal articles or seminars. Cultural skill involves a nurse collecting relevant cultural data and accurately performing a culturally specific physical assessment such as space and communication. Cultural encounter involves the process of nurses directly engaging in cross-cultural interactions with patients from diverse backgrounds. And last, cultural desire involves the motivation of nurses to become culturally aware and seeking cultural encounters (Flowers, 2004).
Hawaii is a very culturally diverse state with a rich cultural history of immigrants. Being an immigrant myself, I love learning about other cultures, especially ethnic foods. It’s amazing but the foods are very similar to one another, yet the taste is very different. For example, one of our Filipino resident’s intake was decreasing. She typically consumed less than 25% of all meals. As soon as we changed her diet to what she was familiar with, her intake changed to almost 100% with all meals.