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Culture and religion in nursing: providing culturally sensitive care

By Aysha Mendes - Freelance Journalist First published: Last updated:

Introduction

  • Nurses must care for patients from diverse cultures and religious faiths.
  • Nurses themselves will also hold their own cultural perspectives and may also hold religious views, which will undoubtedly impact on the nurse-patient relationship and a nurse's ability to deliver high-quality patient care.
  • Understanding how one's own beliefs can stand in the way of this objective, and taking steps to ensure they do not, is something all nurses hopefully strive for.
  • Equally, an awareness of patients’ cultural backgrounds, religious beliefs and traditional customs, as well as, perhaps most importantly, respect for their feelings in decision-making regarding care and treatment regardless of the nurse's own personal feelings, are vital to truly compassionate person-centred care.

Context and Examples

There will be times when the wishes of a patient and their family may conflict with what health professionals feel is in the patient's best interest. Sometimes, the patient's feelings will simply need

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Aysha Mendes

Freelance Journalist, specialising in health, psychology and nursing

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