Over the last few decades, transcultural nursing has advanced into an important aspect in the healthcare service delivery system. Dr. Madeleine Leininger, the founder, and other innovators have in the past worked relentlessly to integrate the model into the healthcare system. Currently, societies are becoming more diverse in terms of their beliefs, ethics, and customs. Owing to this, the adoption of transcultural nursing has enabled nurses to focus on comparative studies and analyses of different cultures enhancing healthcare service delivery.
In hospitals, transcultural nursing has enabled healthcare personnel to deliver healthcare services to patients with diverse backgrounds. For effective adoption, nurses must understand and acknowledge transcultural nursing concepts and assumptions. As such, qualified transcultural nurses should be able to understand their clients’ beliefs and norms, and skillfully integrate these norms into their nursing care plans. In the same way, the model can be adopted in the treatment of mental health problems. The model allows nurses to investigate patients’ social and cultural backgrounds easing the treatment of mentally ill patients. Moreover, this model can allow nurses to assess the cultural expression of pain more accurately than before. By doing so, nurses have been able to provide suitable interventions in the prevention and alleviation of discomfort in their clients.
Through this approach, nurse educators have changed their recruitment policies, syllabuses, pedagogy, academic calendars, and teaching approaches based on the transcultural nursing model principles. In the US, nurse educators have integrated cultural theories in the nursing curricula making it a requirement in all nursing courses offered in the universities and colleges. In these programs, several cultural approaches have been adopted to enable nursing students to exercise their individual decisions when integrating their model in their learning process. To boost this process, most nursing regulatory bodies, in the US, have amended their policies and regulations to ensure that the American nursing workforce is better prepared to cope with culturally diverse societies.
For comprehensive outcomes, researchers should cover a diverse society in their researches. In this respect, they should ensure that suitable translation and interpretation techniques are used when interviewing non-English speaking participants. Equally, hospitals should ensure that nurses in administrative positions create and implement transcultural environments in their organizations.
Despite its usefulness in healthcare delivery services, transcultural nursing has attracted numerous criticisms. As stated above, this model consists of several concepts and assumptions. Critics argue that these terminologies and assumptions are ambiguous and lack clarity. Since the adoption of this model, several nurses have been struggling to achieve clearness in ideas such as cultural awareness, cultural congruence, and cultural competence among other related concepts. Through this model, diversity is defined based on color, religion, and culture. Critics argue that by narrowing the definition of diversity, proponents of this model have failed to acknowledge that every individual has a cultural heritage. This implies that cultural diversity is an ethnocentric term. Therefore, by using the term cultural diversity, the whites have been used as a pan-ethnic group, which other races are measured and compared against.
Other major weaknesses of this model are its failure to acknowledge the relations between knowledge and power, and its inability to address issues associated with prejudice, favoritism, and racism. Although the model’s founders recommend the healthcare stakeholders to cover political, economic, and social dimensions in their theoretical formulations, the model plays a limited role in encouraging nurses and other healthcare personnel to be actively involved in setting political, economic, and social issues. Equally, the transcultural nursing model fails to recognize the power relations between groups. Notably, controversies arise when a patient fails to respond as a nurse expects. In this situation, the nurse may consider the response as unsuitable. Critics question the way nurses consider the response as inappropriate. According to skeptics, these judgments’ validity varies from one nurse to another. Equally, nurses with limited background in cultural diversity may fail to identify appropriate responses. Likewise, the transcultural nursing model depicts Leininger’s generalized research on culture care and values. Through this, the model has fostered stereotypes failing to acknowledge how diversity in how society influences and dictates the way individuals mingle. In this regard, proponents of this model should acknowledge that the model fails to address nursing issues associated with prejudice and discrimination appropriately. Instead, all stakeholders should work together to create and identify new models that do not generalize stereotypes.
In conclusion, the transcultural nursing model bases its principle on the assumption that understanding diverse cultures in our society fosters tolerance and respect for people with diverse backgrounds. However, modern researches indicate that mere awareness is insufficient for the complete abolition of prejudices and discriminations. This implies that nurses, nursing educators, and nursing researchers should learn to acknowledge the contributions all cultures contribute to our multicultural society. By doing so, they should develop and implement nursing models that embrace diversity in our societies. Similarly, hospitals should ensure that they enforce environments that foster cultural understanding. Through this, they should offer their personnel continuous trainings in transcultural nursing.