Effective intercultural communication in nursing
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Effective intercultural communication in nursing

Dympna Tuohy Lecturer, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

Why you should read this article:
  • To enhance your understanding of effective intercultural communication

  • To realise the importance of cultural knowledge when caring for patients

  • To identify the core concepts that underpin cultural care

As a result of global migration, nurses are caring for patients in increasingly diverse cultural and linguistic settings. Intercultural nursing requires nurses to care for patients as unique individuals while considering their cultural needs. Being able to communicate effectively with patients from various cultures is crucial for understanding and for optimal delivery of patient care. Communication must be considered in the context of overall care; therefore, this article describes important concepts underpinning appropriate intercultural care. It provides a guide to effective intercultural communication by discussing three main areas: cultural knowledge, attitudes and feelings, and communication skills. These are the essential areas that nurses can reflect on, and develop and apply in intercultural communication with patients and their families.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2019.e11244

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Tuohy D (2019) Effective intercultural communication in nursing. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2019.e11244

Published online: 28 January 2019

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