This week our topic within Transcultural Nursing has been on cultural diversity. I’ve had opportunities growing up to be in a large mix of different cultures. Living in California, it’s a guarantee to be around cultures different from you’re own. However, since moving to Utah, my experience in interacting with patient’s of different cultures has been limited. This does not excuse me for a lack of knowledge in cultures, hence the reason I’m taking this course.
I read an article about a study done in Australia where businesses looked at the impact racism has on companies. It contributed to significant anxiety and depression and reduced productivity in the workplace. The study mentioned that diversity in the work place is better for innovating, creating, and producing. It improves the quality of a company to have employees of multiple backgrounds.
When thinking about how this related to nursing, I can’t help but feel that we as health care employees are a part of a large company whether that be a hospital, clinic, etc. Our job requires productivity, creativity, and innovation. If we cannot work with each other, how can we help our patients? In addition, how can we promote the health of our patients if we are unwilling to include them and their beliefs in their care?
I’ve had many experiences where language was a barrier to my care. Rather than ignore my patient, I decided to do my best to look up phrases in Spanish. I was able to get by with what I knew. I could tell that although my Spanish was dreadful, my patients appreciated the gesture and were more willing to be active participants in the care given. We were able to find a translator for them and it all worked out. I think the biggest lesson to learn is that diversity = better care! How can we progress if we can’t learn from others? I know that I’ll make it my goal to be more considerate to other cultures and to make an effort to understand their point of view.
Yay for cultural diversity!
Link to the article I read: https://theconversation.com/how-racism-and-a-lack-of-diversity-can-harm-productivity-in-our-workplaces-73119