Cultural Competence in Nursing

Cultural competence is defined as possessing the skills and knowledge necessary to appreciate, respect, and work with individuals from different cultures. It is a concept that requires self-awareness, awareness and understanding of cultural differences, and the ability to adapt to clinical skills and practices as needed (London et al. 2003). In the Orthodox Jewish community, there are many strict cultural guidelines that the women must adhere to. Within the following paper I will provide examples that demonstrate why cultural competency is important in nursing.
When seeking treatment in the Orthodox Jewish law,it permits men and women from being alone together unless they are close family member, or married to each other. This law applies when the women is being examined by a physician or a health care provider. For the Orthodox Jewish woman, a female provider is preferable, but the woman will choose the provider she feels is qualified to provide her with the best quality of care and who has the best reputation in his/her field (Abdelhak 2005).
Spousal involvement in the delivery of a child is limited; a nurse may misunderstand a husbands lack of support as being neglectful to his wife, the nurse is not being culturally sensitive to the Orthodox couple. The nurse must understand according to the Jewish laws, if a woman is unclean with mucous discharge, bloody show, or amniotic fluid, The husband must exit the room as he is not allowed stay in the room with his wife while she is being examined, unless she is fully covered and will not be exposed to him.

To be considered clean again after childbirth or menstruation , the women must go to a ritual bath called the ” Mikveh”. The Orthodox Jewish women must consult with their Rabbi for approval of procedures or treatments; amniocentesis or elective cesarean sections. In such cases Orthodox Jewish couples may call their rabbi to ask for guidance on the subject or to get a blessing from him that all will go well. This would not be done in medical emergencies, such as a cesarean section for fetal distress or for inductions for medically indicated reasons (Abdelhak 2005).
In the Orthodox Jewish community they believe in “Be fruitful and multiply”. It is Gods will how many children she will have, in this case the woman will avoid ever having a cesarean section as it can limit the amount of children she can have and she will not be able to fulfill Gods will. After childbirth, the nurse must be aware of the religious practices of naming a child. The woman will not fill her paperwork at the hospital, but rather fill it after the ceremony and return its afterwards.
The giving of the name is thought to be a religious event and will lose significance if it is announced before either of these times (Abdelhak 2005). Orthodox Jews observe the Sabbath or Shobbas, which begins at sundown Friday evening and ends on Saturday evening. At this time no electrical appliance may be used or or any traveling by car. If the orthodox Jewish woman is discharged the day of Shobbas; the nurse should know that she will not be able to leave the hospital until Shobbas has ended.
To accommodate to her needs the nurse should make sure the woman has a meal before her discharge planning. in the Orthodox Jewish law it permits men and women from being alone together unless they are close family member, or married to each other. This law applies when the women is being examined by a physician or a health care provider. For the Orthodox Jewish woman, a female provider is preferable, but the woman will choose the provider she feels is qualified to provide her with the best quality of care and who has the best reputation in his/her field (Abdelhak 2005).
Spousal involvement in the delivery of a child is limited. A nurse may feel that the husband is showing no spousal support or compassion to his wife. During the delivery the nurse can encourage him to give his wife support verbally, but the nurse must understand according to the Jewish laws, if a woman is unclean with mucous discharge, bloody show, or amniotic fluid. The husband may exit the room as he is not allowed stay in the room with his wife while she is being examined, unless she is fully covered and will not be exposed to him.
To be considered clean again after childbirth or menstruation , the women must go to a ritual bath called the ” Mikveh”. The Orthodox Jewish women must consult with their Rabbi for approval of procedures or treatments; amniocentesis or elective cesarean sections. In such cases Orthodox Jewish couples may call their rabbi to ask for guidance on the subject or to get a blessing from him that all will go well. This would not be done in medical emergencies, such as a cesarean section for fetal distress or for inductions for medically indicated reasons (Abdelhak 2005).
In the Orthodox Jewish community they believe in “Be fruitful and multiply”. It is Gods will how many children she will have, in this case the woman will avoid ever having a cesarean section as it can limit the amount of children she can have and she will not be able to fulfill Gods will. After childbirth, the nurse must be aware of the religious practices of naming a child. The woman will not fill her paperwork at the hospital, but rather fill it after the ceremony and return its afterwards.
The giving of the name is thought to be a religious event and will lose significance if it is announced before either of these times (Abdelhak 2005). Orthodox Jews observe the Sabbath or Shobbas, which begins at sundown Friday evening and ends on Saturday evening. At this time no electrical appliance may be used or or any traveling by car. If the orthodox Jewish woman is discharged the day of Shobbas; the nurse should know that she will not be able to leave the hospital until Shobbas has ended. To accommodate to her needs the nurse should make sure the woman has a meal before her discharge planning.

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