Nurses as Cultural Brokers

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Nurses as Cultural Broker Nurses as Cultural Broker We live in a world where various people with different cultures interact and intermingle. Values, beliefs, and norms that some people practice and have been accustomed to are different from other people. These often leads to conflict and misunderstanding especially if both individuals involved does not speak the same language or share the same beliefs. In a healthcare setting, nurses have always been the frontline in providing direct patient care. We encounter and provide care to a variety of patients and among them are the minority, underserved, and disadvantaged patients. They are the patients who need a voice and a guide to navigate them through the complex United States healthcare system. One of the important roles that we, as nurses performed are as cultural brokers to help bridge the gap and enhance communication between patients and the complex healthcare system. According to Wenger (1995), cultural brokering is a health care intervention through which the professional increasingly uses cultural and health science knowledge and skills to negotiate with the client and the health care system for an effective, beneficial health care plan. As cultural brokers, nurses also facilitate understanding of the patient’s beliefs with that of the other healthcare providers involve in the care. Nurses also help negotiate the boundary when cultures do not meet and help mediate and resolve conflicts. In addition, nurses also help facilitate the patient’s knowledge toward health, wellness, and healing especially on very important matters such as adherence to diet, activity, physician appointments, and medication instructions. Nurses who are culturally competent and act as cultural brokers improve the quality of interpersonal care that patients receive. This is because patients who can let their needs and issues be

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