Perspectives of cultural competence in health care
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Perspectives of cultural competence in health care

June Leishman Director, Academic programmes, School of Social and Health Sciences, the University of Abertay Dundee, Dundee

Aim The aim of this study was to explore the views of one group of healthcare professionals on the importance of cultural awareness in healthcare practice.

Method A qualitative approach was used. Ten nurses of varying age from two counties in Scotland who worked across a range of clinical practice areas were interviewed. The interviews were largely unstructured but included an opening question and prompts for the interviewer.

Findings A lack of knowledge and understanding was demonstrated by the participants in relation to the diverse cultural groups who constitute the population of this country, and a gap in nurse education and training provision across a range of healthcare areas.

Conclusion Nursing curricula need to include more knowledge and learning about cultural awareness, and nurses need more practical experience of caring for patients from different cultures. The findings assisted in the development of a framework for nurse education that embraces the concept of cultural competency.

Nursing Standard. 19, 11, 33-39. doi: 10.7748/ns2004.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review