Compare and contrast cultural competence and cultural sensitivity used in health care settings by professional staff. Provide one specific example each for cultural competence and cultural sensitivity that could be applied in your chosen advanced nursing role. Expectations Initial Post: de Chesnay, M., & Anderson, B. (2020). Caring for the vulnerable: Perspectives in nursing theory, practice, and research (5th Ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett. ISBN: 9781284146813 American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).

Cultural competence and cultural sensitivity are both important concepts in providing effective and equitable healthcare in diverse settings. While they have some similarities, there are also distinct differences between the two approaches.

Cultural competence refers to the ability of healthcare professionals to understand, respect, and effectively interact with individuals from different cultures. It involves gaining knowledge about various cultural practices, beliefs, and values to provide appropriate care that is sensitive to the individual’s cultural background. Cultural competence goes beyond simply having awareness of cultural differences and includes the skills to effectively communicate and provide healthcare services that are culturally appropriate.

On the other hand, cultural sensitivity refers to the awareness and recognition of cultural differences without necessarily possessing a deep understanding of specific cultural practices. It involves being respectful and responsive to the cultural needs and expectations of patients while providing care. Cultural sensitivity recognizes that each individual has unique cultural factors that may influence their healthcare experience, and it emphasizes the importance of tailoring care to meet those needs.

To illustrate the difference between cultural competence and cultural sensitivity in an advanced nursing role, let’s consider the example of a psychiatric nurse working with a patient from a Middle Eastern culture.

In terms of cultural competence, the nurse would take the time to learn about the patient’s cultural background, beliefs, and practices related to mental health. The nurse may study the cultural norms around seeking mental health treatment and consider how the patient’s family and community may influence their perception of mental illness. With this cultural knowledge, the nurse can adapt their approach to build trust and establish effective communication with the patient. For example, they may use interpretive services or involve the patient’s family in decision-making to ensure the patient feels understood and supported.

In contrast, cultural sensitivity in this context would involve recognizing and respecting the patient’s cultural differences without necessarily having an in-depth understanding of all aspects of their culture. The nurse would acknowledge and validate the patient’s cultural beliefs and practices, even if they may not fully comprehend them. For example, the nurse may ask the patient if there are any religious or spiritual practices that they find comforting and incorporate these into the patient’s care plan. This shows respect for the patient’s cultural background and acknowledges the importance of their beliefs in their overall well-being.

In summary, cultural competence and cultural sensitivity both play important roles in healthcare settings. Cultural competence involves a deeper understanding and knowledge of various cultures, while cultural sensitivity focuses on recognizing and respecting cultural differences without necessarily having extensive knowledge. In an advanced nursing role, a psychiatric nurse may demonstrate cultural competence by gaining in-depth knowledge of a patient’s cultural beliefs and practices related to mental health. They can then tailor their approach to provide effective care. On the other hand, cultural sensitivity would involve acknowledging and respecting the patient’s cultural differences, even if the nurse does not have an extensive understanding of all aspects of their culture.