September 17, 2015 — The ethnic and cultural makeup of the United States is rapidly diversifying, with the U.S. Census Bureau projecting that 35 percent of the U.S. population will consist of ethnic minorities by 2020, up from 28 percent in 2010. This growth, coupled with a sharp spike in the number of individuals entering the healthcare system under the Affordable Care Act, means nurses are encountering more patients with greater cultural disparity—requiring a higher level of cultural sensitivity.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2013 American Community Survey, the nation’s 41.3 million immigrants make up 13 percent of the total population, a 1.3 percent increase from 2012. When their U.S.-borne children are factored in, the total climbs to 80 million or one-quarter of the overall U.S. population. The resulting cultural diversity creates unique challenges for healthcare providers, including language barriers and nuanced cultural, ethnic and religious differences that can present obstacles to communication and trust, according to the Transcultural Nursing Society (TCNS).
To help nurses close this diversity gap, Wolters Kluwer has released Cultural Perspectives, a new point-of-reference feature designed to help nurses and clinicians provide culturally competent care. The tool, which initially includes 15 different cultures such as Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese and Mexican, is part of Lippincott Advisor and was developed in partnership with TCNS, the leading organization dedicated to advancing the cultural competence of nurses.
“Providing care that fits with the patient’s cultural values and beliefs helps to improve patient outcomes and overall health. Cultural Perspectives and other culture-specific resources at the point of care support the delivery of nursing care that is meaningful, beneficial and satisfying, and facilitates communication by frontline nurses caring for diverse patients and families,” said TCNS President Stephen R. Marrone, EdD, RN-BC, NEA-BC, CTN-A. “This is not meant to stereotype, but rather to provide nurses with helpful information to consider in assessment and planning of care. We fully understand that there is diversity within as well as among cultures.”
A total of 45 cultural entries will be created in collaboration with TCNS and included in the program before the end of the year. Each group-specific entry is evidence-based and provides general information about cultural values, religious beliefs, communication and language considerations, and family and gender roles. Also included are beliefs about illnesses, food and nutrition, and end of life concerns. The new content applies facts and provides actionable information including a concise set of actions under the heading “What You Should Do.”
“Appreciating a patient’s cultural perspective helps nurses improve patient outcomes and overall health,” said Jayne Marks, Vice President Publishing, Wolters Kluwer, Health Learning, Research and Practice. “Cultural Perspectives helps nurses better understand and respond to the needs of each patient. It provides them with tools to better understand their patients, which enhances the patient’s experience and satisfaction with the care provided. Most importantly, it helps dictate how the nurse can best deliver care.”
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