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Navigating cultural competence in district nursing

02 July 2023
Volume 28 · Issue 7


Cultural diversity is an evolving feature of modern-day society. It is recognised that many factors contribute to culturally competent care and evidence suggests there are still inequalities in care provision to some populations. District nurses (DN) deliver care to individuals', families and communities across varying demographics, and aim to provide high quality evidencebased, person-centred care. The scope of the DN and the community nursing team's practice is far reaching and extends across generations and an array of chronic complex health conditions. Therefore, it is imperative that DNs are aware of aspects surrounding cultural diversity, to ensure they can holistically assess and manage patients on their caseloads and support teams to practice culturally competent care.

This article aims to provide an outline of key areas for exploration in cultural competence. It will highlight communication, pain, end of life, nutrition and health disparities to consider barriers and challenges for district nursing practice.

Culture, beliefs, and religion are extremely important in the lives of individuals, their families, and communities. These values can contribute to decisions made in healthcare and influence their subjective beliefs about chronic conditions or associated therapeutic interventions (Shahin et al, 2019). District nurses (DNs) are recognised by an additional qualification in specialist practice and are responsible for the quality of clinical care delivered both individually and as part of the team they lead (The Queens Nursing Institute (QNI), 2014; Bain, 2015). Therefore, DNs require an extensive awareness of culture and beliefs, to establish a sound understanding of how they affect patient experiences within the healthcare system and safeguard high quality care (Galanti, 2014; Bain, 2015). Nevertheless, there is no clear definition of cultural competence, which is recognised as one of the principal foundations of clinical nursing (Sharifi et al, 2019). This article aims to explore cultural competence for the DN in the context of care provision for adult patients and their families.

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