Nurses’ cultural humility

Practicing with cultural humility allows nurses to recognize each individual’s personal  values, traditions, and concerns to give care with honor and respect.  Patients will feel satisfied with the treatment and care they receive and will be more accepting and trusting of healthcare professionals.

Empirical Referents

Empirical referents measure the occurrence of the concept, when demonstrated. The specific attributes of the nursing concept are so abstract that we need empirical referents to make the concept measurable for patient outcomes. The empirical referents for cultural humility are Inventory for Assessing the Process of Cultural Competence Among Healthcare Professionals (IAPCC) and the Cultural Competence Assessment Instrument (CCA) (Steefel, 2018). The IAPCC uses a four-point scale that measures the effectiveness of cultural sensitivity towards patient satisfaction. This survey is used to measure various factors related to cultural encounters and reactions. The CCA is used by interprofessional team members to confirm proficiency and competence consistency towards cultural diversity experiences (Shen, 2015).

Construct Cases

Model Case

A patient has arrived for a heart catherization for stent placement. She is wearing a scarf around her head and a loose-fitting robe-like long dress. The patient answers, she is Muslim and born in Turkey for the admissions paperwork. The nurse tells the patient to place the hospital gown on so he can check the peripheral pulses and shave the groin area. The patient states that she would prefer a female nurse to shave her. He pleasantly and gently states that he will find a female nurse for her. He communicates very clearly with the patient when explaining the procedure and asks her food preferences to be accommodating to her diet. The nurse is delighted and looking forward to giving care to this patient.

Borderline Case

In the same scenario, the nurse happily is admitting the patient for the heart catherization. The nurse is accommodating to the patient’s preference for a female nurse for the personal tasks. The nurse is very pleasant, kind, and professional with the patient for the admitting process. After the catherization, he brings in the dinner tray consisting of the pork chops, not realizing after learning the patient was Muslim, that she does not eat pork. The nurse exhibited openness and supportive interaction but not cultural awareness. He did not know that Muslims do not eat pork or thought of asking meal preferences.

Contrary Case

In the same scenario, after the patient requests a female nurse for the groin shave, the nurse states very abruptly that there are no female nurses. He is urging the patient to complete tasks quickly.  The nurse proceeds with the remaining admission with a cold demeanor, as though he is not happy to work with this patient. The nurse completes the admission and states that a dinner tray will be served after the procedure, and that the menu is pork chops. The nurse then turns towards the door and exits before the patient can decline the meal. The patient feels very uncomfortable and calls her husband to pick her up to go home. The nurse does not portray openness, cultural awareness, or supportive interaction. The nurse was unaware and disregarding of the patient’s ethnicity, beliefs, and preferences.

Nursing Theory and Application

Concept analysis is important to theory development for the evolution and enhancement of nursing knowledge and proficiency. Madeline Leininger created the foundation of transcultural nursing which addresses the issues that nurses face in culturally diverse interactions (Steefel, 2018).  Leininger’s Theory of Transcultural Nursing states that education of cultural humility raise’s nurse’s awareness to eliminate bias and achieve compassionate care (Leininger, 1988).  Active listening, caring, an altruistic attitude, commitment, and competence are pertinent to ensure cultural humility. A nurse must accommodate for a patient’s culture to maintain adherence to preferences that are in compliance with their beliefs and values. A nurse’s role as a caregiver is jeopardized if the care given is not therapeutic and respectful.


Concept analysis of cultural humility is imperative for nurses so that they may treat all patients with equality by self-awareness and give care with integrity and decency. Exploration of concepts allows nurses to address the concern to achieve meaning and understanding towards enhancement.  Approaching cultural diversity with awareness, openness, and supportive interaction, creates a trusting therapeutic environment. In my selected specialty track of family nurse practitioner, I will create a noble foundation of patient care with cultural humility so that I can provide respect and appreciation towards culture diversity to my patients.  I will learn to reflect on my own preconceived thoughts so that I can eliminate them from my thought process to give unbiassed care.  I will gain a solid understanding of concept analysis by interpreting cultural humility with the Leininger’s theory of transcultural nursing.


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