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Culturally Competent Care for Native Americans

Vixony Vixamar

St. Thomas University

Prof. Kathleen Price

NUR 421

November 11, 2021

The provision of culturally competent care is important for positive health outcomes. Culturally competent care helps meet the specific needs of the various population subgroups. Native Americans represent a population that bears a disproportionate burden of diseases in the United States (Noe et al., 2014). The subgroup experiences several disparities in health care that impact their health outcomes. Some of the disparities are linked to historic cultural issues. Understanding the cultural needs of the population group is thus important in ensuring that nurses engage in culturally sensitive communication and respect the cultural values of the group.

The first recommendation for nurses would be the need for self-assessment. It is crucial that nurses engage in self-assessment to identify their cultural values as well as their knowledge of the culture. A self-assessment will help the nurse in identifying any stereotypes that they might hold that might impact their ability to offer culturally competent care whether overtly or subtly (Lin & Hsu, 2020). The assessment further helps the nurse identify how their personal values differ from those of the patient population. The difference in cultural values can have a significant impact on how the nurses perceive certain key issues that affect health practices. The personal assessment is that a strategy to promote self-awareness and understand the areas that require improvement.

The next strategy will entail examining the level of cultural knowledge that the nurse possesses on Native Americans. It is important to examine how much information the nurse has as it relates to the Native American culture. The knowledge includes their cultural beliefs and how they impact health care choices and practices. Nurses should then make a conscious effort to ensure that they gain the cultural knowledge needed to care for Native Americans. One of the ways of gaining the key foundational knowledge is through various online resources. Several credible online sources provide information about the culture of the Native Americans. Another way of learning about their culture is by collecting information from Native American patients. Nurses should utilize the available tools such as the Purnell model to collect cultural information that is specific to their patients. When collecting the information, the nurse should use culturally sensitive communication. The nurse should also engage in cross-cultural interactions with the patient. The process should not be merely to fill in a form but rather the nurse should strive to create a good professional relationship.

Knowing the common disparities affecting Native Americans is crucial. According to Bender and Yoosook (2020), Native Americans are at risk of various chronic health conditions due to risk-taking behavior. The population suffers from existing comorbidities, access to medical care and the lack of seeking health care services. Native Americans aged between 16 and g4 have the highest rate of disability from diabetes complications, alcoholism, heart disease, traumatic brain injury and drug dependence. Knowledge of the common conditions can help in examining the cause of the same and how culture impacts the causative behavior. Therefore, providing culturally competent care entail self-assessment, collecting relevant knowledge and having information relating to common disparities.


Bender, D., & Yoosook, P. (2020). Culturally Responsive Care for American Indians and Alaskan Natives: An Online Training Module for Occupational Therapists. Occupational Therapy Capstones, 438. 
https://commons.und.edu/ot-grad/438 (Links to an external site.)

Lin, M. H., & Hsu, H. C. (2020). Effects of a cultural competence education programme on clinical nurses: A randomised controlled trial. Nurse Education Today88, 104385.

Noe, T. D., Kaufman, C. E., Kaufmann, L. J., Brooks, E., & Shore, J. H. (2014). Providing culturally competent services for American Indian and Alaska Native veterans to reduce health care disparities. American Journal of Public Health104(S4), S548-S554. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302140



Culturally Competent Care for Native Americans

Yanetsy M Gonzalez

St. Thomas University



Professor Price

November 04, 2021


Culturally Competent Care for Native Americans

Native Americans, the country’s smallest indigenous group, are the quickest developing ethnic population and face a slew of social and medical issues. In the course of providing medical care to Native Americans, cultural awareness is critical. At its most extreme, this notion includes the requirement to achieve a specific level of ethnic awareness, which stems from the recognition that certain characteristics and historical values may render traditional healthcare and service procedures useless or lead to ineffective outcomes. Since there is such a vast range of ideals, behaviors, and norms from different tribes, training, education, and research must include identifying values and customs peculiar to the tribal groups (Nahian & Jouk 2021). Indigenous doctors, Indigenous American storytellers, and talking groups can be included in contemporary Native Americans’ care delivery.

Cultural indifference between healthcare providers and patience is significant in the communication process. As a result, it impacts the decision between patients and healthcare providers during the treatment process. For instance, a healthcare provider might misinterpret silence from a patient as ignorance or lack of interest in treatment. In return, the healthcare provider may decide not to carry out any tests, when in reality, the patient’s silence was an expression of respect. It is clear that if clinicians fail to understand the difference between them and the patients, they may end up providing low-quality health care.

Emerging qualities that lead to a cross-cultural communication is important in providing care. It is highly recommended to achieve this through team building since a team that appreciates ethnic differences has better cross-cultural communication amongst patients and practitioners (Nahian & Jouk 2021). Multicultural individuals have access to a bigger collection of cultural data to share together. In response, they are more likely to respond to patients’ individual standards with compassion. Furthermore, as the staff welcomes multiculturalism, they should endeavor to close the barrier in communication between themselves and the patients. Due to language barriers, patients are unable to adequately articulate their ailments, and clinicians are unable to define symptoms. Additional variables, in addition to language barriers, might contribute to unsafe and unsuitable situations. Clinicians may, for example, employ children as translators, putting them in the position of needing to inform a parent about their condition.

To offer ethnically appropriate care and enhance good communication, health care professionals try to establish a multicultural approach. Even though health practitioners have a thorough awareness of society, they cannot foresee their patients’ behavioral patterns solely based on their cultural roots. Since individuals are different, their conduct and ideas may differ from those of their respective cultures.

As a result, I would advise healthcare practitioners to concentrate on developing cultural awareness and humility. Cultural humility acknowledges that people’s understanding of others is imperfect. It also recognizes that many persons who have worked hard to develop their ethnic understanding might harbor inadvertent, discriminatory practices toward ethnicities different from their own. Cultural sensitivity necessitates a continuous self-evaluation effort (Bender & Yoosook 2020). Healthcare practitioners can increase their understanding of hidden prejudices and create an engagement to patients defined by attentiveness and interest regarding every patient by exploring and focusing on their values and habits.

In conclusion, when it pertains to Native Americans, culturally competent healthcare is not a choice. The ability of this new technique to recognize the fundamental cause of the problem and devise suitable intervention programs or tactics was seen as crucial. Furthermore, culturally competent care employs socially accepted techniques that have long been a part of the social evolution of ethnic communities.


Bender, D., & Yoosook, P. (2020). Culturally Responsive Care for American Indians and Alaskan Natives: An Online Training Module for Occupational Therapists.

Nahian, A., & Jouk, N. (2021). Cultural Competence in Caring For American Indians and Alaska Natives