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Cultural Humility and Competence

Cultural Humility and Competence

Healthcare providers maintain the responsibility of caring for their patients. With the increasing diversification of the patient population, healthcare providers owe it to their mandate to ensure and guarantee their patient’s quality and effective care. This warrants them to equip themselves with the skills necessary in interpersonal interactions and relationships. Cultural humility gives a better understanding of different cultures. It is a commitment to self-critique and evaluation that enables caregivers to learn their patient’s cultures and interrogate personal beliefs and identities. Lekas et al. (2020) report that cultural humility help in mitigating bias during care processes, promotes empathy, and helps caregivers acknowledge their patient’s individuality. This paper details an interview with a middle age African American male.

Nursing Model Used

Transcultural nursing provides the foundational basis for understanding different cultures. The Purnell Model for cultural competence was selected to prepare the interview questions. This model provides the groundwork for understanding the attributes of different cultures. It allows nurses to view, interrogate and understand patients’ attributes that play a role in their health and wellness. The Purnell Model for cultural competence is founded on 12 overarching domains. These are spirituality, pregnancy, biocultural ecology, communication, healthcare practices, death rituals, nutrition, family roles, heritage, workforce issues, high-risk behaviours, and health professionals (Zarzycka et al., 2020). The interview questions were centred around the thematic concerns and the Purnell Model’s domains. Open-ended questions were used to interrogate these aspects and to obtain responses addressing various patients’ beliefs and healthcare practices.

Cultural Identity of the Person Interviewed

The interview was with a middle-aged African American male. He is a second-generation immigrant with cultural roots in Western Africa and identifies with the African culture. He noted that the African cultural imprints are evident in how he interacts with people and adopts various aspects of the American healthcare system.

Definition and Perception of Health and Illness

The patient’s submission on the definition of health and illness revealed strong cultural imprints. He noted that his health is predicated on fate and that he has minimal influence on his health. On illness, he added that disease and human suffering are a consequence of spiritual disharmony between ancestors and humans. While ancestors play a role in taking care of humans, diseases and other forms of human suffering occur when humans fail to atone for their wrongdoings. Thus, all humans must maintain their spirituality as it provides a way for atoning human wrongdoings and asking for divine protection from their gods. The patient’s definition and understanding of illness and health are informed by the African cultural heritage. The patient noted that growing up, his father taught him various attributes of the African culture he currently subscribes to.

Health Maintenance, Protection, and Restoration Traditions

The patient uses a blend of traditional and complementary therapeutic modalities and conventional medicine to maintain and protect his health. He uses herbal supplements for most mild ailments affecting him and his family. He also mentioned that he is a very spiritual man and often resorts to prayer for God’s protection. He uses conventional medicine selectively. His adoption of various health resources, such as community screening for chronic disorders, is also low. He is unvaccinated but has had all his other family members vaccinated. The patient’s stance on health maintenance, protections, and restorative traditions is informed, in part, by the African cultural heritage. The use of herbal medicine and spiritual modalities such as prayer are deeply entranced in the African culture (Omenka et al., 2020). Many Africans tend to their gods for healing and divine interventions and have used herbs for a long time. Their adoption of conventional medicine and practices is sometimes poor.

How Language/ Culture Has Impacted Access to Healthcare

The patient noted that his grandfather had considerable difficulties getting healthcare services when he moved to the U.S. due to the language barrier. Coming from a small tribe in Western Africa, his grandfather didn’t have a proper mastery of the English language, and that lack of translators made communications difficult for him. The patient also noted that access to healthcare remains a challenge for many African Americans due to poor perception of conventional medicine. He noted that poor knowledge of various conventional practices, the fear of unwanted interventions, and poor perception and definition of disease and illness impede his adoption of various healthcare resources.

How Language/ Culture Has Impacted Communication with Healthcare Professionals 

The patient noted that the differences in communication styles often present a challenge when communicating with healthcare professionals. In his culture, younger people avoid eye contact with older persons and are often not encouraged to engage them in long conversations. The topics around sexuality are also forbidden. He also noted that the handshake is highly revered in his culture as it is a sign of respect and communism. These practices sometimes present challenges when he is communicating with his caregivers. He has trouble maintaining eye contact and often has an impulse to shake other people’s hands.

Analysis of the Concept of Cultural Humility

The interview gave me an insight into the significance of cultural humility in healthcare. Recognizing cultural differences and diversity in healthcare can help caregivers tailor their engagement processes toward the patient’s belief system. As evident in the interview, perception and definition of health, illness, adoption of healthcare practices, and beliefs in conventional medicines differ. Cultural humility requires that caregivers acknowledge these differences and interrogate how their beliefs and identity will help them respect their patients’ individuality.


Lekas, H.-M., Pahl, K., & Fuller Lewis, C. (2020). Rethinking cultural competence: Shifting to cultural humility. Health Services Insights13, 117863292097058.

Omenka, O. I., Watson, D. P., & Hendrie, H. C. (2020). Understanding the healthcare experiences and needs of African immigrants in the United States: A scoping review. BMC Public Health20(1). 

Zarzycka, D., Chrzan-Rodak, A., Bąk, J., Niedorys-Karczmarczyk, B., & Ślusarska, B. (2020). Nurse Cultural Competence-cultural adaptation and validation of the Polish version of the Nurse Cultural Competence Scale and preliminary research results. PLOS ONE15(10).


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Cultural Humility and Competencee

Cultural Humility and Competencee

In this writing assignment, you will conduct an interview of a person from a culture different than your own, giving careful consideration to the concept of cultural humility.

Step 1 Choose a person to interview from a culture different than your own.

Step 2 Use your book or additional resources to research the cultural group’s health practices. Think of questions you want to ask. Select a model of culturally-competent nursing care to guide the development of your questions.

Step 3 Conduct the interview (approximately 15-20 minutes). Be sure to gather information to address the areas in step 4.

Step 4 In a two-three page paper, addressed the following:

Describe how you used the chosen model of culturally competent nursing care to develop interview questions
Summarize the interview questions used and the answers received, and address the following:
With what culture does the person identify?
How does this person define/perceive health and illness and how is this affected by his or her culture?
Describe the person’s health maintenance, protection, and restoration traditions and how these have been influenced by culture.
How has language and/or culture impacted:
Access to health care
Communication with health care professionals.
Analyze the concept of cultural humility, based on the information that you gathered in the Interview.
Step 5 Save and submit your assignment.

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