Nurse Caring for Latino Patients


The case study under consideration involves a cultural aspect of nursing because a patient is a Mexican American woman (Galanti, 1997). There are two groups of players in this situation, relatives of the patient and representatives of the healthcare facility, a pharmacist and an IV nurse. All the players were supposed to interact to provide effective family education about procedures necessary for the patient after the discharge. However, the interaction was not successful due to some factors that could have been prevented in case the cultural aspect had been considered. The major role of the pharmacist and the IV nurse was to provide education to the family of the patient enabling them to care for the patient at home.

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However, the family was late for the meeting and the pharmacist and the nurse were already impatient and irritable when the family arrived. Probably, the representatives of the healthcare facility were not aware of the fact that Mexican Americans are sensitive to the context of the conversation. According to Giger (2013), small talk can be a useful anticipation intervention before approaching the major issue of the conversation.

Thus, the family members could have been conciliated through some phrases related to the patient’s health issues. However, they were not welcomed. As a rule, Mexican Americans are diplomatic and tactful in communication with others (Giger, 2013). Still, any kind of direct confrontation and arguments similar to those they faced at the hospital are considered rude and disrespectful. Consequently, the family looked withdrawn and uninterested.

If I were the bedside nurse caring for this patient, I would apply a set of interventions, which would be beneficial for all the parties involved. First of all, I would find out the exact time when the pharmacist and the nurse could meet the family and inform the family accordingly. The appointment in the case was not appropriately organized and, probably, failed because of the lack of organization and became a waste of time both for the relatives and the hospital staff.

It is a proven fact that a significant part of the Latino population in the United States still uses Spanish for communication and frequently does not speak English well enough to discuss healthcare issues (Juckett, 2013). Therefore, I would look for a Latino nurse from the staff to provide family education about the patient’s care because the use of a native tongue could make the family of the patient more relaxed and ready to percept important information.


Moreover, I would give written instructions about interventions necessary for the patient prior to the meeting to let the family members study them and ask questions during the meeting in case of necessity. Certainly, I would control the arrival of the family to the meeting via mobile phone to avoid any delays. It is an accepted fact that Mexican Americans have a present orientation of time (Giger, 2013). This orientation frequently causes problems with planning future action.

Therefore, some control would be helpful. Probably, the meeting could be appointed to another day when the pharmacist and the IV nurse were not so busy and could dedicate more time to family education. All those interventions would contribute to the patient’s well-being because family support is a significant factor in health care organizations. It is particularly true for Mexican Americans who pay much attention to family relations.


Galanti, G. (1997). Caring for patients from different cultures: case studies from American hospitals (2nd ed.). University of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia, PA.

Giger, J. (2013). Transcultural nursing: Assessment and intervention (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.

Juckett, G. (2013). Caring for Latino patients. American Family Physician, 87(1), 48-54.