Thursday, July 12, 2007
Cultural Competency: Where Is the Evidence?
|Learning Objective #1: describe the status of cultural competency frameworks for nursing practice.|
|Learning Objective #2: develop at least two strategies for obtaining evidence of cultural competency in practice.|
Aim of review:
Living in culturally diverse areas of the U.S. over the last decade, the author has noted an inherent assumption that because the area is culturally diverse, health care providers must be culturally competent. However, direct observation in clinical practice has indicated that this is a faulty supposition. Therefore, an extensive review of literature was undertaken to provide models or guidance for developing culturally competent students and practicing nurses.
Search and review methodology:
Selections for this review were generated from a computerized search of nursing literature from 1980 through 2005; cumulative indexes of the professional literature over the same period; the “invisible college” of experts in cultural competence in health care; and the ancestral approach generated by the database search. Keywords used were culture, healthcare, cultural competency, nursing research, and combinations of these words. Materials reviewed were limited to widely circulated journals, printed in English, with education or clinical implications for providing culturally competent care. Over 40 sources were available for review.
Cultural competency in nursing practice is one issue that has taken the stage over the last two decades, evolving as a professional mandate for the delivery of quality patient care to a multicultural global community. The majority of the literature reviewed was theoretical or anecdotal. A few pieces presented models for cultural care, but most were not broad enough to provide significant guidance in educating nurses on providing culturally competent care.
Since there were few guidelines for education or practice, a search of historical materials and contemporary anecdotes was used to provide guidance for framework development and educational sessions. Further outcomes of this review include the development of case studies and modules to assist with the goal of educating culturally competent nurses.