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Ethics, Different Cultures & Ways of Life

Answer :

With the increasing diversity in the population and number of patients, the health care industry has been facing varied opportunities as well as challenges to make available services which are competent in nature. This quality of services of this sector is highly dependent on the manner different cultures interact with each other. Hence, cultural competency is required to be developed by all the services made available by healthy providers as well as policymakers. It is important to note that nursing is one such service which can produce enhanced health outcomes and effective care, depending upon their competency to efficiently interact on a cultural level. Moreover, this shall also enable the service providers to make a significant contribution to elimination of disparities in connection to racial as well as health issues. This leads to the need of development of strategies which enable the health care services to be focused specifically addressing cross-cultural issues (Ogilvy, 1992). The health professionals and the ones developing relevant policies shall undertaken every effort to eliminate administrative barriers, in addition to linguistic hurdles in the process of patient care. It is highly imperative for the health care industry to understand that indulging into successful communication with the patients shall be one of the priorities for the service providers. Each such individual shall be able to differentiate between the cultural backgrounds and be able to bridge the gap between existing differences in the cultural values. This not only enables the nursing services to be more effective, but it also makes the entire comfortable for all the involved people. Some of the demerits which may arise if the cultural differences are not addressed in a proper manner, in the form of adverse clinical outcomes, poor participation from the patient's end, delayed immunizations, non-compliance, reduced level of satisfaction and other inaccurate consequences.

The health care system of Western Europe is primarily subjected to patients who are from either individually oriented culture or group-oriented culture. The basis of this distinction lies in the extent to which an individual derives his identity from his surroundings, and possess the feeling of being taken care by their own community, family or any such group. For instance, the patients who have a highly individualist background, carry a sense of separation from their own group and are more self-reliant. An independent personality is developed by these people, which is completely distinct from their own groups. On the other hand, a person from collectivist culture derives his identity completely from his own group, and are strongly involved within each other lives. The beliefs and opinions prevalent in these cultures are exclusive in nature, and can also be defined as highly contrary to each other.

It is important to understand by these professionals that the interaction which the patients undertake with them constitute to be a part of their personal relationships. In pursuance to the same, it is vital in the field of nursing for the service providers to have a cultural context of the individuals they are serving. In absence of the same there exists high probability for the professionals to provide in effective services (Cultural Diversity in Health and Social Care: Some Questions and Answers for Health Care Professionals,2011). For instance, while catering to the needs of an individualistic patient, the approach of dealing shall be on similar terms to realize effective results. As has been noted by many, if nursing care is provided by a person who follows the same path, and in a way represents the beliefs of the patient, an effective connect can be established. Since individually oriented people believe in focusing upon their own needs and requirements, the health care providers shall also adopt an approach which can be easily understood by such a person, and is in connection to his own benefits. On the other hand, the primary focus of group-oriented people is benefiting their own group of people. One of the prime strengths of the former is that they are highly focused on improve their own condition and shall undertake every effort to feel better, if addressed by appropriate approach. However, one of the weakness which these people face are that of lack of belongingness, which keeps them detached to many elements. On the contrary, group-oriented people are emotionally attached to various societal elements, which enable the service providers to use each of them to establish a strong connection with their patients. Therefore, a highly crucial role is played by cultural competence in the nursing sector as it further enables them to embrace diversity and enhance the quality of care being delivered.


  • Ogilvy, J., Revisioning Philisophy, 1992. pp. 231-234. [Online]. Available though: <>. [Accessed on 6th February 2017].
  • Cultural Diversity in Health and Social Care: Some Questions and Answers for Health Care Professionals. 2011. pp. 38-40. [Online]. Available through: <>. [Accessed on 6th February 2017].
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