Cultural Diversity, Spirituality and Ethics in Healthcare

Course Description

This course focuses on the fundamentals of an evidence-based approach to examining a range of cultural norms, religions, and alternative health care practices of varied racial and ethnic groups, and how these practices affect the definition, design and implementation of culturally competent, individualized health care. Variations in race, ethnic, age and gender groups, family structure and patient support will be explored. Emphasis will be placed on summarizing intercultural aspects and how the multicultural professional nursing workforce can collaborate to assess, plan, and manage care according to the cultural and spiritual needs of individual patients and populations.

Course Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Identify and contextualize the factors that constitute their personal culture, beliefs, and upbringing to understand how those factors influence interactions with patients and the environment. (PLO 2)
  2. Discuss variations in cultural, and religious backgrounds and practices of patients and families, and their effect on compliance with treatment. (PLO 3, 7, 9)
  3. Analyze alternative healthcare practices and the effect they have on the provision of patient centered care. (PLO 3, 7, 9)
  4. Synthesize aspects of knowledge and communication principles pertinent to the intercultural aspects of patient care, and manage care according to the cultural and spiritual needs of individual patients. (PLO 2, 4, 5, 6)
  5. Evaluation of knowledge of the impact between morals and ethics and how they direct patient and provider choices for treatment across the lifespan. (PLO 2, 8, 9)

Welcome to Week 2

This week will focus on your community and your environment. How well do you know your town/city in terms of diversity? What resources are in your area either in your community or at your place of work for those of diverse backgrounds. You might find some surprises, such as the number of languages spoken in your community. Enjoy exploring and present your findings.

Keep in mind the following:

“Values may be viewed as individualized sets of rules by which people live and are governed. They serve as the cornerstone for beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Cultural values are often acquired unconsciously as an individual assimilates the culture throughout the process of growth and maturation. It is important for the nurse to recognize that because cultural values are believed to exist almost solely on an unconscious level, they are the most difficult to alter. Cultural values therefore have a pervasive and profound influence on the individual” (Giger,2017, p109).

Giger, J. N. (2017). Environmental Control. In J. N. Giger Transcultural Nursing: Assessment and Intervention (7th ed.). St Louis: Elsevier


Choose one of the following activities:

  1. Go to your local library and see what books or sections of the library they have for those that do not speak English. You might want to meet the Librarian for a tour of how the library accommodates (or does not accommodate), different cultures and languages.
  2. Contact the HR department or someone familiar with policies & protocols at your facility and see what policies /resources they have for employees and/or patients where English is not their first language.

After you have visited your chosen area, discuss the following:

Do the resources you found match the population in your community? If they do, what else could be provided (provide at least three recommendations), if they do not how can you as a nurse encourage adaptation of resources for those of differing cultural backgrounds and/ or languages (provide at least three suggestions).

References (not older than 5 years) with corresponding in text citations using APA format 7TH ED

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