Cultural Competence Report Sample
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“I pledge on my honor that I have neither given nor received inappropriate aid on this examination”.
Working in a new cultural environment and in a new country is apparently a challenging experience for any nurse. At the same time, the new experience will contribute to the professional development of the nurses. This is why I have high expectations in regard to my work in Bangladesh in the course of a month. At any rate, this experience will not only uncover a new country and its authentic culture for me, but also I will learn the new way of work of nurses in Bangladesh. As I am from Ghana, I expect to expand my professional skills through learning the new experience from my colleagues in Bangladesh. The new experience will inevitably positive because it will enrich my professional skills and abilities. Therefore, I expect my experience of work in Bangladesh will have a positive impact on my professional development as a nurse, although I am likely to confront substantial challenges caused by the different cultural environment and language barriers.
The cultural environment of Bangladesh will be different from the cultural environment, which I get used to. First of all, Bangladeshi culture is different because of a significant impact of neighboring cultures, including Muslim culture, Indian culture and Chinese culture. Therefore, Bangladeshi culture is vulnerable to a strong impact of Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, which comprise the core of philosophy of local communities. The local population is relatively diverse with the strong focus on the three aforementioned traditions and cultural norms. In this regard, Ghana’s culture is different because Ghana has its own cultural norms and traditions. In this regard, the only strong influence that makes Ghana similar to Bangladesh is the influence of Islam, which though strong in Dagomba community only. As a result, I am acquainted with people, who live according to Muslim traditions and this experience is quite helpful in terms of the communication with Bangladeshi nurses and patients, who are Muslims (Bleich, et al., 2003). Even though there are certain differences between Muslims in Ghana and Bangladesh but still I expect that I will be able to adapt to the communication and interaction with such people because I have already had the experience of working with Muslims. In this regard, I expect more challenges to emerge in the course of my work with nurses and patients that have Buddhist or Hindus background, for example, because I have little information about their traditions, cultural norms, and beliefs.
Therefore, in face of possible problems and challenges that I may confront in the new country, where I am going to work for a month, I have to come prepared to the work in the new cultural environment. First, I am going to study the cultural diversity of Bangladesh. I have to understand the way of thinking of local people. I should know how they think to understand how they act and what their system of values is. In such way, I will be able to avoid situations when I can misconduct or offend Bangladeshi nurses or patients just because I do not know and understand their cultural norms and traditions. At the same time, some of their actions and attitudes may be not so shocking for me, if I know their culture and understand their motives and views. For example, some cultures, which I am not living in, may have traditions that may be shocking for me but absolutely normal for the local population. This problem may occur in Bangladesh as well. This is why the study of the local culture and its diversity can help me to come prepared to avoid the cultural shock.
Moreover, the study of the local culture will help to determine how to behave properly in different situations. Bangladeshi people apparently have a different system of values and I cannot ignore their beliefs and habits as well as their traditions. Otherwise, the risk of conflicts between me and my Bangladeshi colleagues or between me and my Bangladeshi patients increases. I will also be able to understand expectation of my colleagues and patients from Bangladesh that will increase the effectiveness of my performance as a nurse. If I can interact effectively with local professionals and patients, I will be able to provide patients with nursing care of the high quality that will increase the overall effectiveness of the treatment of patients. Hence, the patient satisfaction will grow and I will be content with my performance.
At the same time, the acquisition of the new cultural and professional experience will definitely have a positive impact on my professional development. As I learn to work with new people, who have a different system of values, I elaborate new style of work and interaction with people. Such diversification of my professional skills and performance helps to improve my qualification and contribute to my further professional growth. This experience is apparently beneficial because I can learn from my colleagues, who may give me some useful hints to optimize the performance of nurses.
However, what I am particularly concerned with is how Bangladeshi nurses and health care organizations develop their organizational performance and interaction between all health care professionals (Andrews& Boyle, 2008). To put it more precisely, nurses have to interact with each other and with other health care professionals to deliver nursing care services effectively. We have our traditions and organizational culture which determines the interaction between health care professionals within the organization. What I am really concerned with is how Bangladeshi health care professionals interact with each other at the organizational level because I believe that our interaction within health care organizations is imperfect. I believe this is not only the problem of health care organizations and professionals in Ghana solely (Kwame, 2002). Instead, this is the common problem for virtually all health care organizations and professionals. I believe the more we learn about the interaction between health care professionals from each other, I mean from health care professionals working in different countries, the more effective our interaction becomes. At any rate, I can learn something new from my Bangladeshi colleagues in terms of the organizational performance and interaction with my colleagues and other health care professionals.
On the other hand, I still believe that I will confront several barriers, including cultural, language and age difference. As I have already mentioned above the lack of cultural competence can cause conflicts and misunderstanding in my communication and interaction with local nurses and patients. In addition, local patients may be not confident in me as a well-qualified nurse because I am a foreigner for them. Language barriers emerge since I do not know Bangladeshi and I cannot speak fluently this language, while local health care professionals cannot understand my language. As for age difference, I believe this may be an issue because in our country patients have little confidence in health care professionals, who are young because they believe they are not competent enough (Craven&Hirnle, 2009). In case of Bangladesh, my age may also matter and patients may be not fully confident in my professional skills and abilities. This is why I believe that cultural differences, language barriers and age differences may be the major challenges and barriers to my successful performance as a nurse in Bangladesh.
In spite of possible challenges, which I may confront I still believe I can overcome them. I expect to overcome cultural barriers by means of the detailed study of Bangladeshi culture and traditions and the direct communication with local nurses, whom I am going to work with. The mutual work will help me to establish closer ties and positive interpersonal relations with my Bangladeshi colleagues. In addition, the more I work the more experienced I will become in the communication with local patients as well as health care professionals. Therefore, I believe that I will be able to overcome all cultural barriers in the course of time. The elimination of cultural barriers will open the way to my effective performance as a nurse in Bangladesh.
I expect to overcome language barriers by means of using English and steady learning of Bangladeshi language. At any rate, I believe that I will be able to learn key terms and phrases in the course of a month to be able to communicate and discuss professional issues with my colleagues, while English will be the vehicle language that I and my Bangladeshi colleagues can use, since English is an official language in Bangladesh and, as a rule, nurses and health care professionals can speak English in Bangladesh.
Finally, I will overcome age barriers by my hard work and professionalism. As people around me learn that I am a well—qualified professional, they will disregard my age. In such a way, I will focus on the effective work to gain the confidence of my colleagues and patients.
Thus, I am likely to face considerable challenges in Bangladesh caused by cultural differences, language barriers, and age-related prejudices. Nevertheless, the hard and well-qualified work along with the study of the local culture and language will help me to perform successfully and enrich my professional experience in the course of my work in Bangladesh.
Andrews, M. M., & Boyle, J. S. (2008). Transcultural Concepts in Nursing Care. Philadelphia, PA: Lippencott Williams & Wilkins.
Bleich, M. R., et al. (2003). Analysis of the Nursing Workforce Crisis: [Reply to letter]. A Call to Action, 103(4), 74. Retrieved from http://www.nursingcenter.com
Craven, R. F., &Hirnle, C. J. (2009).Culture and Ethnicty.In Fundamental of Nursing (Sixth Edition ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippencott Williams & Wilkins.
Kwame,A. (2002). “The Political Systems of Ghana. Background to transformations in traditional authority in the colonial and post-colonial periods.”Historical Society of Ghana.
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