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Culturally sensitive communication 

Culturally sensitive communication
Chapter:
Culturally sensitive communication
Author(s):

Maria Flynn

, and Dave Mercer

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198743477.003.0008
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date: 14 October 2019

The world population is becoming increasingly ethnically diverse, reflecting patterns of global migration. Nursing care requires consideration of nuances of culture to respond sensitively to diversity needs in contemporary demography. The opportunity to nurse within multi-cultural communities makes nursing an interesting and rewarding occupation. Responding sensitively to people from different cultures can be enriching and fulfilling, much appreciated by recipients of care. Sadly, for some black and minority ethnic groups, the experience can be very different. Prejudice and discrimination seen in the wider society can extend into healthcare settings. Nursing staff can feel under-prepared to respond in culturally aware or non-discriminatory ways without adequate training. The concept of ‘otherness’ is a central strand of healthcare debate about individuals who exist outside the boundaries of mainstream society, groups of people who either fail to use health services or are failed by health services. This includes people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, travellers, refugees, and asylum seekers. Marginalized, and easily identifiable, people are too often viewed as an aggregate through the prejudicial lens of stigma and stereotype(s). This chapter suggests that the nursing profession is well placed to challenge discrimination and health inequalities as a part of everyday practice.

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