Cultural Sensitivity In Nursing

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"Maori or Pakeha (White man/ European), it shouldn't make any difference. Nurses care for patients regardless of culture. 

Discuss this statement in reference to Leininger's Tanscultural Theory of Nursing and the Cultural Safety Model.

When it comes to optimizing nursing care the above statement does not reflect Leininger's Theory of Transcultural Care which emphasises that appropriate regard is given to the cultural differences existing between Maori and Pakeha. Neither does it reflect Ramsden's ideas of cultural safety. To begin, let us consider Leininger's Transcultural model.

Leininger is an American nursing theorist whose approach is from a dominant culture and is based upon an anthropological viewpoint. In American society, the cultural diversity is enormous. Her work is an attempt to increase nursing effectiveness within this multicultural environment, whilst at the same time recognising that the provision and source of medical care originates from the more dominant Western culture. Nurses are encouraged to become educated about a wide variety of cultural beliefs and sensitivities; and specifically, to identify those aspects that are relevant to the context of nursing care.

Leininger has defined Transcultural Nursing as a major area of nursing that "focuses on a comparative study and analysis of different cultures and subcultures, with respect to their caring values, expression, health/illness beliefs and pattern of behaviour with the intention of being able to develop a scientific and humanistic knowledge base that provides culture specific and/or culture-universal nursing practice  (Alligood, 1998).

One of the key aspects within the Theory of Transcultural Nursing is the idea of the nurse being an ˜Observer' of other cultures and having a strong understan... Continue Reading