Culture & Clinical Care

Do patients who are immigrants from Central American countries prefer to be examined by a clinician of the same gender? Should a nurse make direct eye contact when addressing an elderly patient from Nigeria? What cultural traditions need to be respected when caring for a dying Korean patient? If you or your nursing staff find yourself searching for answers to questions like these on a regular basis, Culture & Clinical Care is the essential, answers-at-your-fingertips reference guide you need.

An updated, revised and expanded edition of the award-winning best seller Culture & Nursing Care, this new book provides guidelines to help nurses and other health care professionals assess the cultural needs of 35 different ethnic groups in order to provide culturally and linguistically sensitive care. The chapters are organized alphabetically, from Afghans to (Former) Yugoslavians. Other populations covered (selected based on their size according to the U.S. Census) include African Americans, Mexicans, Filipinos, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Cubans, Chinese, Cambodians, Hmong, Pakistanis and many more. Each chapter is authored by nurses and other clinicians who have extensive expertise in that particular culture. In fact, nearly all of the book’s 55 contributors are members of the cultural group they write about.

Within each chapter, health care providers can find concise, easy-to-locate information about the ethnic group’s cultural/ethnic identity, religious/spiritual orientation, beliefs about health/illness, family relationships, dietary practices, developmental and sexual issues, symptom management, and cultural practices relating to birth and death.

It could be argued that condensing this type of information into quick, easily referenced snapshots–e.g., “Most Nigerians want to be buried in homeland with ancestors. Cremation unacceptable.”–can encourage blanket generalizations and stereotyping. But in their Introduction, the editors strongly emphasize that each patient must be treated as an individual. “Health care providers cannot provide good care without assessing both cultural group patterns and individual variation within a cultural group,” they explain. “Cultural information can lead to insensitive care if it is used in a cookbook manner, as in attempting to apply cultural ‘facts’ indiscriminately to a patient of a particular ethnic group. The chapters in this book should not be used as blueprints for patient characteristics. Rather, their purpose is to alert clinicians to potential factors they should consider in order to provide good care.”

To order the book: Culture & Clinical Care can be ordered from UCSF Nursing Press, 521 Parnassus Avenue, Room N535C, San Francisco, CA 94143-0608, (415) 476-4992. Include $6 for shipping/handling. Order forms can be downloaded from http://nurseweb.ucsf.edu/public/npress/catalog.htm. Bulk discounts are available.
 

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