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Importance of Cultural Competency in Nursing

Discuss about the Report for Transcultural Nursing and Intervention for Jewish Patients.

Transcultural nursing is one of the aspects of nursing that deals with people from various cultures. It focuses on the values and beliefs of different cultures and accordingly providing culturally appropriate healthcare services. Healthcare providers have to deal with people from different cultures having different treatment preferences. It poses a challenge to deal with them and take care of their preferences, especially in nursing where the nurses have to take care of the personal needs of a patient. So it becomes a matter of great importance for nurses to gain essential skills and knowledge in cultural competency (Pullen, 2014).

In the present scenario of the healthcare industry, cultural understanding is very important for a healthcare provider to provide decent patient care. Knowing about the beliefs and cultural preferences of the patients allows the care provider to make the patients more comfortable with the physical surroundings. (Saver, 2007). Among the various patients from different cultural backgrounds, Jewish patients are one of those patients who require specific attention paid towards their cultural preferences. While dealing with the Jewish patients, it is important to have knowledge about the Jewish laws regarding the diet, purity, modesty, prayer and other religious likings. It is appropriate to ask the patients what their cultural concerns are, rather than making assumptions. If the patient is not able to speak for himself, share your queries with the family. However, if family of the patient is also not available to comment on the patient’s cultural practices, he should be assumed as strictly traditional. Every family is different in terms of its cultural inclination; some of them strictly follow Jewish laws while others are flexible about their beliefs (Dosani, 2003).

The foremost concern while dealing with a Jewish patient is food. Traditional Jews requires strictly kosher food. If the kitchen of the care facility does not have arrangements to provide such food then the food should be ordered from outside. The food should be served in wrapped and untouched containers. It is preferable if the patients themselves remove the wrappings. Another concern is the physical modesty. If a patient requires attention to his personal needs such as washing or bathing, it should be done by the person of same gender to the extent where it is possible. Also, the gown provided by the caring facility should be long enough to cover them sufficiently. However, exceptions can be made if there is a medical emergency. Shabbat is another concern that should be taken into consideration. If there are no imminent health risks then some Jewish patients may ask to postpone the treatments until after the day of Shabbat. Candle lighting is an important traditional feat during Shabbat but the candle flames could pose a threat to the hospital environment; therefore electric bulbs simulating candle flames can be used. Praying is an important aspect of the Jewish life. A group of 10 persons known as minyan is required to perform certain religious obligations. Therefore, appropriate arrangements should be made for the Jewish patients to pray. Traditional Jews are very sensitive about their religious preferences and Jewish laws, so suitable arrangements should be made to meet the patient’s needs. However, in case of life-threatening situations theses Jewish laws could be violated to save a patient’s life (Abelson-Mitchell, 2005).

As a nursing professional, one has to take care of various things while dealing with Jewish patients. There are certain health barriers that hinder the healthcare services (Ticehurst, 2010). So to overcome such barriers, nursing professionals have to make certain interventions. An overview of such intervention is listed below:

Nursing Problem for a patient from Jewish culture

Nursing Interventions

Rational

Food

1. The healthcare professionals should be very careful while providing food to the Jewish patient. The food should be made strictly in a kosher kitchen. If such food is unavailable, fruits can be given to the patients (Regenstein, Chaudry and Regenstein, 2003).

Traditional Jews people strictly prefer Kosher diet that is prepared in accordance with their religious laws.

2. The food should be served in a container which has not been in contact of any non-kosher food. Therefore, sealed plastic containers should be given to the patients.

According to the Jewish cultural, if a kosher food item comes in contact with a non-kosher food then it also becomes non-kosher and hence does not remain fit for consumption.

Purity

3. Jewish patients should be dealt by the person of the same sex.

The Jewish patients have certain cultural concerns while interacting with a person of opposite sex. Treatments such as changing their clothes or washing them by a person of opposite gender may offend them. So it is always advisable to have their consent prior following such course of action.

Modesty

4. Patients should be provided clothing of appropriate length that could cover the patient sufficiently.

Jewish people are highly conscious about covering themselves in public as per their religious laws. So the clothing given to them should ensure appropriate coverage of the patient.

5. The patients should be allowed to wear caps (males) or scarfs (females) during the prayer or all the times if the patient wishes so.

Covering the head has a great importance in Jewish culture. Some women, after their marriage, do not expose their hair in public and uses a scarf to cover their heads.

Prayer

6. Proper arrangements for praying should be made after consulting with a rabbi.

Jewish patients usually offer their prayers 3 times in a day. Therefore, appropriate arrangements should be ensured.

7. If possible, a patient is allowed to pray with other Jewish patients or family members.

A group of 10 people known as minyan is required to perform certain religious activities. So, they should be allowed to offer their prayers with other Jew people

Shabbat

8. Patients should not be interrupted during the time of Shabbat until it is a dire emergency or life-threatening situation.

Shabbat is the time when Jewish people restrain themselves from doing anything, even using electrical appliances. Their belief should be respected unless there is an emergency.

Death, autopsy and burial

9. If a Jewish patient dies in the hospital, family members should be allowed to stay with the body all the time. Also, arrangements should be made to release the body as soon as possible.

The Jewish people do not leave their relatives alone even in their death as a symbol of affection and respect for the dead. It is also directed by Jewish culture that burial happens as soon as possible.

10. If the death happens due to confirmed natural or medical cause, the autopsy of the body should be avoided.

Jewish people sees autopsy as an act of disrespect and deforming of the body. So autopsy should be avoided until the death seems suspicious or of criminal nature (Williams, 2014).

References:

Abelson-Mitchell, N. (2005). Caring for Jewish Patients. J Adv Nurs, 51(5), pp.542-542.

Dosani, S. (2003). Caring for Jewish Patients. BMJ, 327(7407), pp.169-169.

Evans, C. (2005). Jewish Burial Traditions and the Resurrection of Jesus. Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, 3(2), pp.233-248.

Pullen, R. (2014). Communicating with patients from different cultures. Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, 12(6), pp.6-8.

Regenstein, J., Chaudry, M. and Regenstein, C. (2003). The Kosher and Halal Food Laws. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 2(3), pp.111-127.

Saver, C. (2007). Cultural competency benefits patients, therapists. Nursing, 37, pp.6-9.

Ticehurst, A. (2010). Barriers to Design in Healthcare. Australasian Medical Journal, pp.570-579.

Williams, E. (2014). The orthodox jewish patient: five things we should know. [online] Ausmed Education. Available at: https://www.ausmed.com.au/blog/entry/the-orthodox-jewish-patient-five-things-we-should-know-1 [Accessed 12 Aug. 2016].

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