St. Thomas University: Campinha-Bacote’s Model of Cultural Competence

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 2
Words: 583
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

The 5 constructs of Campinha-Bacote’s model of the process of cultural competence comprise cultural desire, cultural awareness, cultural knowledge, cultural skill, and cultural encounters. Cultural desire is understood as motivation of healthcare workers to provide culturally competent healthcare for different ethnic groups (Campinha-Bacote, 2022). Cultural awareness is the process of self-reflection aimed at uncovering one’s prejudices and biases against people from different cultures (Botelho & Lima, 2020). Cultural knowledge is the means of obtaining information on people’s ethical values as well as disease incidence and prevalence in diverse ethical groups. Cultural skill is understood as the ability to conduct cultural assessment of a patient. Cultural encounter is the process of cross-cultural interaction with people from diverse cultural backgrounds (Campinha-Bacote, 2002). I believe all five constructs of Campinha-Bacote’s model are essential for making healthcare services a nurse renders truly patient-centered as stated in the ANA Code of Ethics. Indeed, the presence of all five constructs allows evaluating the patient’s needs and channelling a nurse’s energy into meeting them at the highest level of one’s competence.

St. Thomas University and its Nursing programs largely reflect Campinha-Bacote’s model of Cultural Competence in its mission and values. Thus, the mission of the University states that «St. Thomas educates students to be morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely, and work skillfully to advance the common good» (University of St. Thomas, para. 1). The mission shows that, in healthcare, nurses are responsible for the wellbeing of patients and should employ critical thinking when dealing with patients from diverse cultural, racial and ethic groups. They should consider, among other things, the cultural background of a person and incorporate in the proposed medical practices. For example, when prescribing dietary nutrition, a nurse should remember that Muslims and Jews do not eat pork; Hindus — beef and veal, and Mongols and Buryats do not eat fish. Every nation has certain norms of behavior that a medical professional should be familiar with. Thus, in many cases, a nurse does her best to persuade a female Asian patient to undergo a necessary course of medical treatment, not knowing that, traditionally, in Asian countries and in the East, the final decision is made by the woman’s husband. Moreover, in Eastern traditions, it is considered polite to have a slow, long conversation when the interlocutors do not interrupt each other. The patient will expect similar behavior from the medical staff at all stages of treatment, especially at the stage of anamnesis collection. If a medical worker violates these rituals, then his or her behavior is likely to be perceived as impolite, and the services of such medical personnel will most likely be refused.

The values of St. Thomas University include, among other concepts, diversity and personal attention. These values testify to the respect for cultural differences of people on the part of educational organization. My learning during this course largely helped me to incorporate a cultural component in my beliefs. While earlier I was little aware of the difference culture makes in the field of healthcare provision, now I am eager to learn about the diverse cultures and use this newly acquired knowledge in my medical practice. I believe that every person should get the treatment that is not averse to his or her outlook, that is why I intend to deepen my understanding of people’s cultural prejudices and preferences. As of now, I am eager to continue my fascinating journey towards cultural competence and learn new things that are in store for me.


Botelho, M. J., & Lima, C. A. (2020). From cultural competence to cultural respect: A critical review of six models. Journal of Nursing Education, 59(6), 311-318.

Campinha-Bacote, J. (2002). The process of cultural competence in the delivery of healthcare services: A model of care. Journal of transcultural nursing, 13(3), 181-184.

University of St. Thomas. Mission, convictions, and values. Web.