How does a person’s difference in age, culture, race, gender and living situation impact your comfort as a nurse in communicating with them? I honestly find more comfort working within a culturally diverse population. I have live in a very diverse urban neighborhood comprised of Filipino, Latino, African and African Americans. I am also an African who moves to the United States in 2006. My background allows me to advocate better for people in underserved populations as we have a lot in common. However, my life experiences, been a refugee, and my nursing education and training enabling me to better communicate with a person who has little in common with me.
- According to Utley-Smith (2017) “nurses are in a position to strengthen their own personal cultural competence, strengthen the cultural competence of coworkers in their service areas, and initiate and support organizational cultural competence for the benefit of patients” (p. 161). Every healthcare experience has afforded me the opportunity to have a positive effect on my patient’s care. When I encounter patients of different socioeconomic status, age, culture, etc., I learn more about the patient’s culture to become more aware and culturally competent to provide them with the ultimate care. As nursing continues to advance, the nursing field needs to diversify to include a variety of backgrounds that reflect our changing demographics.
While growing up, how were OAs treated in your family, culture, community and in society (identify the year range). Growing up in African, grandmothers or old age were the backbone and leaders of the community. Elderly black women passed down traditions and gave us cultural meaning based on past and continued experiences of oppression. There is a strong religious presence in the household and the importance of family is all that matters. Grandmothers are a source of support that keeps the family together by maintaining strong kingship and religious.
As we grew up in an impoverished community in refugee camps due the civil war in my country, many of the elderly adults were uneducated and poorly qualified for most jobs. My grandmother and grandfather were not educated neither my mother nor father. My grandparents were farmer and my mother was a petite trader. Grandparents are a valuable resource because they have so many stories and experiences from their own lives to share. Oftentimes children will listen to grandparents even when they are not listening to their parents or other adults. Grandparents also offer a link to a child’s cultural heritage and family history. Children understand more of who they are and where they come from through their connection with their grandparents.
With both parents in many families working outside of the home, it is oftentimes the grandparents that play a vital role in rising today’s youth. According to the 2010 Census, roughly 2.7 million grandparents provide for the basic needs of a grandchild, while even more take care of their grandchildren on a regular basis. If they are willing and able, having a grandparent act as either an occasional babysitter or a paid childcare provider gives many parents a great sense of comfort knowing that they are leaving their children in capable and caring hands. My grandmother is longer alive but she was joy and strength of our family and we all missed her very much.