Culturally Competent Care: A Discussion on People of Arab Origin

Subject: Public Health
Pages: 2
Words: 617
Reading time:
3 min


In many communities around the world, culture is often viewed as the organizing framework within which notions of health and illness are defined and internalized by members using a set of beliefs, values and attitudes that are unique to these communities. It therefore follows that knowledge of the role of culture in guaranteeing health and dealing with various forms of illnesses affecting these communities is critically fundamental to incorporating culturally competent health beliefs and practices in nursing care (Douglas et al., 2009; Purnell, 2013). By analyzing the presented case scenario, the present paper illuminates the importance of culturally congruent skills and strategies in the provision of care.

Responding to Mrs. Nasser’s Request

In the case scenario, Mrs. Nasser request the nurse to ask the doctor to write a prescription for her daughter’s infection since the Arab culture does not permit young girls to be exposed to vaginal examinations for fear that their virginity will be compromised (Hammad et al., 1999). Owing to the fact that Mrs. Nasser seems clearly agitated, the nurse should respond to her request by first seeking to understand her cultural beliefs and values through an open, honest, and effective communication that takes into consideration Mrs. Nasser’s cultural values and context, but also stresses the importance of the physical examination in the achievement of quality treatment and care (Purnell, 2013).

The nurse may then institute a negotiation procedure with Mrs. Nasser because it is conceivably not feasible to accommodate her request without compromising the health and wellbeing of her daughter. In the negotiations, the nurse should demonstrate a higher level of creativity and also look for ways to accommodate the client’s beliefs and concerns by showing an adequate understanding of her culturally desired behaviors (Schim & Doorenbos, 2010). Consequently, the rationale of instituting negotiation is premised on arriving at a win-win solution that meets the needs and expectations of the patient and her family, the care provider as well as the health care institution or agency.

Culturally Congruent Strategies

Effective utilization of cross-cultural knowledge and adoption of culturally sensitive skills are two of the foremost strategies that the care provider may use to address the needs presented by Mrs. Nasser. The care provider may also utilize effective cross cultural communication by demonstrating respect to the concerns raised by Mrs. Nasser and striving to comprehend the client’s concerns and needs through effective listening, attentive body language, friendly eye behavior, and clarity in linguistic dialogue (Douglas et al., 2009). Effective cultural negotiation can also be used as a culturally congruent strategy. The bottom-line is that these culturally congruent strategies will function to reduce bias, stereotyping and prejudicial decisions involving the care provider and the client (Mrs. Nasser), hence positively influencing the quality of care (Purnell, 2013).

Addressing Mrs. Nasser’s Concerns

The major concern for Mrs. Nasser is that a physical examination on her daughter may compromise her virginity, which is highly valued in the Arab culture. However, it is important for the physical examination to be done if quality care is to be accorded to the patient. In the Arab culture, elders and Islamic Imams are highly respected by community members (Hammad et al., 1999). In this regard, the care provider may request the services of an elder in the patient’s family or an Islamic Imam to persuade Mrs. Nasser to allow her daughter to be physically screened by a same-sex care provider. Additionally, the care provider may attempt to soften Mrs. Nasser’s stand by assuring her that she will be allowed into the examination room to witness the procedure. If these options prove unconvincing, the care provider should refer the client to a health institution with Arab doctors and caregivers to remove cultural barriers.


Douglas, M.K., Pierce, J.U., Rosenkoetter, M., Callister, L.C., Hatter-Pollara, M., Lauderdale, J…Pacquiao, D. (2009). Standards of practice for culturally competent nursing care: A request for comments. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 20(3), 257-269. Web.

Hammad, A., Kysia, R., Rabah, R., Hassoun, R., & Connelly, M. (1999). Guide to Arab culture: Health care delivery to the Arab American Community. Web.

Purnell, L.D. (2013). Transcultural healthcare: A culturally competent care (4th ed.). Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company.

Schim, S.M., & Doorenbos, A.Z. (2010). A three-dimensional model of cultural congruence: Framework for intervention. Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life & Palliative Care, 6(3/4), 256-270. Web.