Cultural Security in Health Care: The Importance of Being Sensitive to Patients’ Needs

1. Introduction

In a culturally diverse society, it is important to be sensitive to the cultural needs of all members of the community. This is especially important in the health care setting, where patients may be from a range of different cultural backgrounds.

One recent case that highlights the importance of cultural sensitivity in health care is that of an elderly man who was admitted to hospital with a suspected case of tuberculosis (TB). The man, who was from an indigenous background, was initially seen by a female nurse. However, he was uncomfortable speaking to her and requested to see a male doctor instead.

The case highlights the importance of cultural security in health care. Cultural security requires sensitivity towards a person’s culture and the need to ensure that they feel comfortable and safe when receiving health care. In this case, the elderly man felt more comfortable speaking to a male doctor due to his cultural beliefs.

It is important for nurses to be aware of the potential implications of cultural differences in order to provide culturally secure care. This includes being aware of language barriers and ensuring that patients from indigenous backgrounds are able to access culturally appropriate care.

2. Defining cultural security

Cultural security is defined as “the sensitivity towards and protection of a person’s culture”. It is about ensuring that people feel safe and comfortable within their own culture. In a health care setting, this includes being aware of cultural differences and ensuring that patients from all backgrounds are able to access culturally appropriate care.

Cultural security is particularly important for indigenous people, who may have experienced historical discrimination and disadvantage. Indigenous people often have unique cultural beliefs and needs which must be respected by health care providers.

3. The case of the elderly man

The case of the elderly man highlights the importance of cultural security in health care. The man was admitted to hospital with a suspected case of TB. He was initially seen by a female nurse but he was uncomfortable speaking to her and requested to see a male doctor instead.

The case highlights the importance of being sensitive to the cultural needs of patients. In this instance, the elderly man felt more comfortable speaking to a male doctor due to his cultural beliefs. It is important for nurses to be aware of such differences in order to provide culturally secure care.

4. Implications for nurses

The implications for nurses are twofold. Firstly, they need to be aware of the potential implications of cultural differences in order to provide culturally secure care. Secondly, they need to be aware of language barriers and ensure that patients from indigenous backgrounds are able to access culturally appropriate care.

5. Conclusion

In conclusion, cultural security is an important concept in health care. It requires sensitivity towards a person’s culture and the need to ensure that they feel comfortable and safe when receiving health care. In a culturally diverse society, it is essential that nurses are aware of the potential implications of cultural differences and that they are able to provide culturally secure care.

FAQ

Elderly people's primary concerns about their cultural security typically relate to a fear of losing their identity, being disconnected from their community, and feeling like they no longer belong.

One's culture can affect how they view and experience aging in a number of ways – for example, some cultures may see aging as a time of wisdom and respect, while others may view it as a time of decline and diminishing worth.

Changes in demographics (such as an ageing population) and societal attitudes (such as increased awareness of ageism) can impact cultural security for the elderly by creating new challenges or exacerbating existing ones.

Policies or initiatives that could help ensure the cultural security of older adults include things like intergenerational programs, accessible transportation, and supportive housing options.

Groups of older adults who may be particularly vulnerable to losing their cultural identity or feeling culturally insecure include those who are isolated geographically or socially, have low incomes, or are members of marginalized groups.

Potential consequences if we fail to address the issue ofcultural insecurity among our elders include further social isolation and exclusion, mental health problems, and reduced quality of life.

Intergenerational solidarity – which is defined as mutual respect and support between different generations – can play a role in promoting a sense of belonging and safety for all members of our society, regardless of age."