Cultural Competency in Mental Health Nursing

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 3
Words: 949
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College


Cultural competence is defined as organizations’ and providers’ ability to efficiently deliver health care services that meet social and cultural needs. Cultural factors can influence health and health care, such as language, communication, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. It is an essential component of quality nursing care that lays a basis upon which the discipline operates. This knowledge equips nurses with essential skills needed for handling patients in acceptable manner. This paper aims to analyze the concept of cultural competence in a client of Hispanic origin who is diagnosed with a mental illness. The steps followed include the assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation. The main aim is to help nurses deliver more culturally acceptable care and improve patient care services.

The concept of culture is diverse as it comprises of a variety of contents. It includes gender equality, beliefs, behaviors, sexual orientation, language, healthy lifestyle, and traditional medicine (Cruz et al., 2018). Some stereotypes about gender roles in society cause discrimination as the male are seen to be superior. The lifestyle adopted can affect the health status as some foods can affect mentality. Vegetables, fruits and whole grains are healthy as they provide nutrients which develop the mind.


Cultural assessment involves the acceptable norms and practices in a particular society. The components of culture in consideration include knowledge, desires, encounters, and cultural awareness (Cruz et al., 2018). A special diet is required for pregnant mothers, sick, children and aged people. Each and every one must practice tolerable religion, which should not go against traditional beliefs. This prevents unwanted conflicts between the members hence peaceful coexistence. Immigration of people leads to multicultural setup, thus the need for nurses to be educated on how to interact positively without giving rise to unwanted chaos (Reed, 2017). It is important to examine the client’s Hispanic background and enquire about their Latino cultural beliefs regarding the illness to find a better way to approach them.


It involves the process of examining the mentally challenged patients to know the possible causes of the condition by in cooperating culture. It comprises actual observation of the cultural events which might cause mental disorders. Cultural beliefs may affect how the nurses deal with patients as they cannot be ignored (Cruz et al., 2017). The cultural diagnosis taken into consideration was the effect of depression on the affected. Cultural awareness enables individuals not to impose the beliefs, values, and behavioral patterns as causes of sickness.


The planning stage plays an important role since it ensures the cultural and emotional safety of the client. The first step taken was to make the visitors aware of the family members and the patient. This enabled them engage their minds psychologically and make necessary adjustments to make the mission a success. Upon arrival, a friendly conversation approach was applied in interviewing to gather all the needed data. Confidentiality was key as the information was kept between the two parties. This eliminated future loss of self-esteem incase the members knew about the situation and failed to provide support.


To ensure safety of the patient and at the same time acknowledging their Latino cultural values, several interventions were considered. This includes the behavior developed by certain people regarding a certain issue. The patient’s culture prohibited the taking of the manufactured medicines. They instead preferred traditional medicine believing that it has no side effects. The client was isolated in a room for fear of causing harm to the rest of the members due to their abnormal behavior. A sibling was chosen to take care of the patient by providing a balanced diet, counseling them, and ensuring they took a bath. The implementation made was to inform the people on the importance of taking subscribed drugs to facilitate quick healing. The other parties were also informed and a history of a patient who had been mentally challenged but become well after taking drugs was given. This facilitated a serene condition leading to recovery from the threatening disease.


To ensure a successful healing process, a visit was paid to the dwelling place to ensure medicine was being taken. A brief interaction was done to know how the patient was doing. The drugs’ possible side effects were observed and none was noted as there was an improvement in the behavior. The family accepted the importance of medication since they had seen a practical transformation and healing. However, a bed rest of at least one week after the prescribed dose ended was recommended. This was for further examination and suggestions on dealing with the client in case the condition reoccurs.


Cultural competence equips nurses with knowledge of handling patients from different societies without bias. The interventions about taking prescribed drugs were a success as the patients recovered after medication. However, certain religious beliefs still remained a challenge as some people still held them firmly. In future, health officials’ awareness about mental illness and necessary adjustment should be imposed. People’s lives will be saved as some cultural practices like hiding the sick lead to depression, which is a silent killer. Society should not discriminate against the challenged as they can be useful members of the society.

Various institutions such as schools, hospitals, and churches should express better ways to deal with the mentally ill. In school, it should be in the syllabus where students are taught how to treat those with such conditions. The hospitals should implement protocols and advise the society on steps to take in case they encounter such conditions. Religious bodies should teach the believers values to have mercy, love, care, and empathy to the affected. In general, society should play a critical role by creating a friendly environment for everyone.


Cruz, J. P., Aguinaldo, A. N., Estacio, J. C., Alotaibi, A., Arguvanli, S., Cayaban, A. R. R., Arguvanli, S., Cecily, H. S., Conntreras, F.A., Hussein, A., Idemudia, E. S., Mohamed, S. A., & Sebaeng, J. (2018). A multicounty perspective on Cultural competence among baccalaureate nursing students. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 50(1), 92-101. Web.

Cruz, J. P., Alquwez, N., Cruz, C. P., Felicilda‐Reynaldo, R. F. D., Vitorino, L. M., & Islam, S. M. S. (2017). Cultural competence among nursing students in Saudi Arabia: A cross‐sectional study. International Nursing Review, 64(2), 215-223. Web.

Reed, C. (2017). Cultural competence. AJN, American Journal of Nursing, 117(7), 13. Web.