One of the essential characteristics of modern health care is cultural competence or the ability to provide healthcare services that meet the linguistic, cultural, and social needs of patients. Cultural competence is based on the recognition of cultural diversity and extensive knowledge of different cultures. This paper compares Haitian Adventist and Hispanic Catholic cultures and discusses the ways a culturally competent nurse could take care of the representatives of these cultures.
Haitian Adventists and Hispanic Catholics are representatives of two completely different cultures with different religious views and traditions. Although both cultures value Christianity, Haitian Adventists share mostly the beliefs of the Protestant Christianity including the belief in the Bible as the only word of God and the recognition of human sins and the need for salvation. In turn, Hispanic Catholics adhere to the beliefs and traditions of Catholic Christianity including the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. Also, the Catholic Church plays an important part in the wedding ceremonies of Hispanic Catholics; for example, a bride and a groom exchange Catholic wedding vows, and the ceremony always takes place in the church. In turn, the wedding traditions of Haitian Adventists may combine Haitian traditions with the beliefs of Adventists. For example, Haitians who live in rural areas do not formally invite guests to attend the ceremony; also, the ceremonies often last more than 3 hours, and the members of the wedding party dance down the aisle (Kara). At the same time, Adventists do not exchange rings as do not value jewelry and do not necessarily write personal vows (King). Finally, Haitian Adventists have traditional Haitian holidays and reject Christmas and other religious festivals except for the weekly Sabbath that lasts from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, and Hispanic Catholics celebrate Christmas and New Year and also other religious and national holidays of Spanish-speaking countries.
As a culturally competent nurse, I should be aware of cultural differences between Haitian Adventist and Hispanic Catholic cultures and should use my knowledge to help the patient feel comfortable. For example, I can meet the needs of patients respecting their need for the meeting with the pastor and salvation; both cultures have a strong connection with religious values and traditions. Also, I can establish a trustful relationship with the representatives of these cultures acknowledging their holidays; I should not wish a merry Christmas to a Haitian Adventist but can wish a Happy New Year to a Hispanic Catholic.
Cultural competence is one of the primary qualities of the modern nurse that allows her to provide high-quality care to culturally diverse patients. A culturally competent nurse should constantly advance her knowledge of different cultures and use them for the establishment of a trustful relationship with patients and the meeting of the patients’ needs.
Kara. “HWT: Haiti Wedding Traditions.” An American Bride in Haiti, An American Bride in Haiti, 22 Jul. 2013, https://haitibride2014.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/hwt-haiti-wedding-traditions/.
King, Tamiya. “Seventh Day Adventist Wedding Ceremony.” Our Every Day Life, Our Every Day Life, 28 Sep. 2017, https://oureverydaylife.com/seventh-day-adventist-wedding-ceremony-12291031.html.