Transcultural nursing, a term sometimes used interchangeablywith cross-cultural, intercultural, or multicultural nursing, refers to a formal area of study and practice that focuses on the cultural care (caring) values, beliefs, and practices of individuals and groups from a particular culture (Giger & Davidhizar, 1999). The underlying focus of transcultural nursing is to provide cul-ture-specific and culture-universal care that promotes the well-being or health of individuals, families, groups, communities, and institutions (Giger & Davidhizar, 1999; Leininger, 2001). When culturally appropriate care is provided, all individuals, and the community or institution at large, benefit. When the care is de-livered beyond the nurse’s national boundaries, the term inter-national or transnational nursing is often used.
Although many nurses, anthropologists, and others have writ-ten about the cultural aspects of nursing and health care, Leininger (2001) developed a comprehensive research-based the-ory called Culture Care Diversity and Universality. The goal of the theory is to provide culturally congruent nursing care to improve care for people of different or similar cultures. This means promoting recovery from illness, preventing conditions that would limit the patient’s health or well-being, or facilitating a peaceful death in ways that are culturally meaningful and ap-propriate. Nursing care needs to be tailored to fit the patient’s cultural values, beliefs, and lifestyle.
Leininger’s theory includes providing culturally congruent nursing care (meaningful, beneficial, and satisfying health care tailored to fit the patient’s cultural values) through culture care accommodation and culture care restructuring (Fig. 8-1). Cul-ture care accommodation refers to those professional actions anddecisions that a nurse makes in his or her care to help people of a designated culture achieve a beneficial or satisfying health out-come. Culture care restructuring or repatterning refers to those professional actions and decisions that help patients reorder, change, or modify their lifestyles toward new, different, or more beneficial health care patterns. At the same time, the patient’s cultural values and beliefs are respected, and a better or health-ier lifestyle is provided. Other terms and definitions that pro-vide further insight into culture and health care include the following:
· Acculturation is the process by which members of a culturalgroup adapt to or learn how to take on the behaviors of an-other group.
· Cultural blindness is the inability of a person to recognize hisor her own values, beliefs, and practices and those of others because of strong ethnocentric tendencies (the tendency to view one’s own culture as superior to others).
· Cultural imposition is the tendency to impose one’s culturalbeliefs, values, and patterns of behavior on a person or per-sons from a different culture.
· Cultural taboos are those activities governed by rules of be-havior that are avoided, forbidden, or prohibited by a par-ticular cultural group.
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