The Importance of Transcultural Nursing: What It Is, Why We Need It and Why You Should Be a Part of It

‍Today, the healthcare system is more global than ever before. With an influx of new patients from different cultures and neighborhoods, nurses need a strong understanding of the changing nature of care and its impact on different patient populations worldwide. As a nurse who has worked with people from various backgrounds all your career, you understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to patient care. Instead, you are equipped with an innate ability to adapt and respond to different needs quickly and confidently. It is what makes you such an ideal candidate for a career as a cultural trans-nurse.

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Transcultural nursing has recently become more prominent in healthcare because of a greater understanding of cultural values, local languages, and customs. In order to embrace this growing trend and become a part of it, nurses need to learn more about the subject. Read on to know more.

What is Transcultural Nursing?

Transcultural nursing is the care and practice of nursing-sensitive to cultural differences and diversity in health and health care across the lifespan. It involves understanding the cultural context of the patient and their family, fluency in the language, and communication in the health care setting. Transcultural nurses are the cornerstone of care delivery and promote improved health outcomes across the lifespan.

Transcultural nurses are professionals with broad knowledge of the patient’s cultural context and a healthcare model responsive to this context. Transcultural nursing is interdisciplinary and works with individuals from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Transcultural nurses possess clinical skills and knowledge that help care for patients from different backgrounds.

Transcultural Nursing Theory
Transcultural Nursing Theory

For many reasons, transcultural nursing is an important part of the health care system. First, the need for interdisciplinary care is growing as the population of people with multiple and complex health needs increases. Second, there are increasing numbers of people from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, making up a more significant part of the general population. Finally, with advances in health care delivery and research, there is increasing evidence that adequate care is culturally tailored.

Why is Transcultural Nursing Important?

In today’s society, there is a greater awareness of the impact of culture on health and healthcare. People are more likely to come to healthcare providers who speak their native language and understand their community’s cultural nuances, especially when assessing mental health issues.

The more people understand their mental health and what factors lead to poor health outcomes, the better equipped they will be to advocate for themselves. People from minority backgrounds are more likely to experience mental health issues at a higher rate than the general population. Healthcare providers should identify and respond to these issues.

Transcultural nursing is especially important for people from minority backgrounds who may face communication barriers when accessing care. Those who do not speak the provider’s language may be hesitant to discuss concerns or problems that cannot be resolved through a regular walk-in clinic. Having a bilingual provider with experience working with the community in which the patient resides can help bring attention to issues that aren’t getting the attention they need.

The Skills You Will Learn in Transcultural Nursing

  1. Caring – Transcultural nurses are compassionate practitioners who are not afraid to reach out and ask for help in caring for a patient. Whether asking for an interpreter or consulting with other healthcare professionals, they are open to receiving help and support.
  2. Communication – Like any other relationship, a productive one between a healthcare provider and their patient requires communication. Transcultural nurses need to be fluent in the patient’s language and possess a solid understanding of the cultural nuances of their community. Transcultural nurses are also well-versed in healthcare research and practice models that consider all populations’ unique needs and circumstances.
  3. Collaboration – As healthcare professionals, transcultural nurses are more likely to work in collaborative teams that help them gain a better understanding of patient needs and challenges. Through these partnerships, they can draw upon a broader network of resources to deliver high-quality care.
  4. Research – Transcultural nursing is a critical practice that benefits from evidence-based research. Nurses who engage in this approach to care are exploring ways to improve healthcare delivery and implementing best practices that have been proven to work.
  5. Self-awareness – Nurses who practice transcultural nursing are in tune with their own needs and those of their patients. In a healthcare setting where people tend to be self-focused, this is a rare quality that is extremely valuable.

How to Become a Transcultural Nurse

First and foremost, you will need to be a licensed nurse. Beyond that, you will need to complete a program that teaches you about cultural differences and diversity and provides you with hands-on experience working with diverse populations. Transcultural nursing programs can be found at community colleges, nursing schools, and online courses.

Commit to 12 months of study and internships before you are ready to practice as a transracial nurse. There are a few things you can do to make the transition easier. First, try to have at least one native-born family member who can accompany you to medical appointments or provide you with culturally-appropriate foods or medications.

Pack snacks and medications that are common in your native culture to make them easier to access. Finally, be sure to have family or friends who live in a different culture than yours available to help you navigate the unfamiliar territory of a new city.

The Power of Transcultural Nursing

Transcultural nursing examples

Many people think of the term “transcultural nursing” as about people of color and those who are immigrants. This is part of the definition but is hardly the full scope of the term: transcultural nursing applies to Native Americans, women, older adults, LGBTQ2+ people, and people with disabilities.

 People from all these groups may experience unique health challenges and challenges in accessing healthcare because of these factors. For example, LGBTQ2+ individuals are at an increased risk of mental health challenges and are more likely to be uninsured. Women are more likely to have pregnancy-related health challenges and are more likely to experience food allergies or intolerances.

What is the main goal of the transcultural nursing care model?

The main goal of the transcultural nursing care model is to recognize the diversity among people and to provide culturally appropriate care that addresses the needs of all. Transcultural nursing models are based on the idea that every person has multiple identities and experiences, and transcultural nursing providers recognize these identities as an essential part of the healthcare team. Healthcare providers who understand the importance of each of these identities are more likely to provide comprehensive, culturally appropriate care.

What are transcultural principles?

Transcultural principles are a set of core beliefs that guide how nurses practice across cultures. Transcultural principles are essential for providing culturally appropriate care.

  1. Patient-Centered Care – Transcultural nurses follow the Hippocratic Oath, which includes the principle of “first do no harm.” Transcultural principles emphasize the importance of treating each individual with respect and caring for their strengths and abilities.
  2. Collaborative Care – Transcultural principles promote open communication between healthcare providers and their patients. Transcultural nurses are advocates for their patients and can navigate barriers to accessing care.
  3. Respect and Inclusion – Transcultural principles encourage nurses to treat people with dignity and respect, regardless of their background. Transcultural principles also indicate that nurses should include people in decisions that affect them, such as staffing, budgets, and where services are offered.
  4. Research – Transcultural principles promote the importance of research and evidence-based care. Transcultural principles also suggest that nurses should collect data from advocating for their communities’ health and wellness.

Transcultural nursing theory

Transcultural nursing is defined as the study and practice of care across cultures. Transcultural nurses adapt the care provided by different healthcare professionals. The main focus of transcultural nursing is to understand the cultures of patients, families, and communities and adapt the care accordingly.

Transcultural nurses are not just experts in one particular culture but all cultures. As such, a transcultural nurse is equipped for the needs of patients, their families, and their communities. Transcultural nurses have a strong sense of cultural awareness, able to understand and recognize the differences between various cultures.

Transcultural nurses can also evaluate and assess a patient’s cultural needs and understand common barriers that may prevent some patients from getting the care they need. Transcultural nurses can also identify common barriers that prevent family members from collaborating with the health care system.

Who introduced Transcultural Nursing?

Transcultural nursing was first introduced in the mid-1900s by a British nurse named Florence A. Leininger. Before Leininger introduced the term “transcultural nursing,” cross-cultural care was known as “cross-cultural nursing.”

The term was first coined by Florence A. Leininger, a British nurse, and means “the nursing of people in different cultures.” The first book written on transnational nursing was published by Leininger, Transcultural Nursing: A Critical Appreciation, in 1927. The book introduced the world to cross-cultural care and what it means to provide the care needs of other cultures.

 Before this, cross-cultural care was only known as “cross-cultural nursing.” Leininger expanded the meaning of “transcultural,” which means “cross-cultural,” to mean the nursing of people of different cultures. She was the first to use the term “transcultural nursing.”

Why is Leininger’s theory important?

Before the introduction of transcultural nursing, nurses’ work focused on the physical health of the patient. In most healthcare systems of the 20th century, nurses served as caregivers, not health educators: with the introduction of “transcultural nursing,” nurses began to realize that they should be more than physical healthcare providers. Transcultural nursing also presented new challenges.

 Until then, nurses had hardly interacted with patients and their family members who were not physically present in the health care setting. In transcultural nursing, nurses face the challenges of providing care to people who come from different places and are part of different cultures. With this change, the role of the nurse also changed. Transcultural nursing also offered new opportunities for nurses to prove their leadership abilities.

What are the challenges in transcultural nursing?

Transcultural nurses encounter many challenges in their work. One of the significant challenges that transcultural nurses face is the lack of awareness among the general public and health care providers. To overcome this challenge, awareness programs and training should be implemented to educate patients, families, and healthcare providers about the importance of transcultural care. Another major challenge that transcultural nurses face is insufficient knowledge about different cultures.

Transcultural nursing examples

With the ever-increasing mobility of people, nurses need basic knowledge about different cultures. The role of cultural competency training should be considered in this regard. A final challenge that transcultural nurses face is the cultural differences among cultures and the clash of values between these cultures. These challenges can be addressed through the implementation of effective communication strategies.

What are the three modes of effective care in the transcultural nursing theory?

Transcultural nurses implement three successful modes in their work: patient-centered care, health promotion, and health protection.

  1. Patient-centered care involves building a relationship with the patient and understanding their unique needs and preferences. Transcultural nurses make every effort to establish trust with the patient by not just relying on the information provided by the patient or family but also by asking questions to learn more about their needs and preferences.
  2. Health promotion involves providing information that empowers patients and families to make healthier lifestyle choices and prevent disease. Transcultural nurses use community resources to provide information about healthy diet, exercise, immunization, STD/HIV, and other health issues.
  3. Health protection involves taking necessary precautions while providing care to patients. Transcultural nurses use cultural sensitivity to prevent any harm from occurring to patients.

What are three examples of strategies to help improve culturally competent care?

– Educating yourself about different cultures and the needs of different patient populations. – Reading literature about different cultures and health issues prevalent in different cultures.

– Creating a plan for how you will identify and understand different cultures. – Implementing effective communication and cultural competence strategies.

What is ethics in transcultural nursing?

Ethics is the study of moral principles that guide the actions of human beings. In transcultural nursing, nurses are expected to act ethically by understanding and educating themselves about the different cultures they interact with. They are also expected to be culturally sensitive while working with patients, families, and communities.

What are three examples of strategies to help improve culturally competent care?

  1. Create a cultural assessment plan – A plan that maps out the steps needed to conduct a cultural assessment and the resources needed to perform the assessment effectively.
  2. Know the cultural information – Information about different cultures should be readily available to transcultural nurses so they can easily and quickly identify the culture of a patient, family, or community member.
  3. Communicate effectively – Transcultural nurses must have effective communication and cultural communication skills to work with different groups effectively.
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