Share an experience where you cared for a patient in the healthcare setting who was from a culture different from your own. How did you accommodate this patient’s needs? How would you apply the Purnell Model to future cultural encounters?
Which one of the twelve domains of culture from the Purnell Model do you feel is most important? Why?
Cultural accommodation is a priority in healthcare and daily life. Nursing professionals must willingly adapt to different cultures to provide excellent service. Cultural competence is a requirement that increases awareness of not only patients but also of the socioeconomic status. Paying special attention to the patient’s needs will also build rapport, reassure patient and provide a safe and comfortable environment.
A couple of Asian and Hispanic decent was accompanied to the inpatient rehab unit. The male patient of 86 years was the patient admitted with a left hemorrhagic stroke and right sided weakness. The husband was Spanish and could not follow simple commands in English. The wife was 83 years old and was of Asian descent but spoke fluent Spanish, but could not relate in English. This was proven to be a tough task during the admission process. However, I realized that by smiling and speaking slowly the husband/patient became more cooperative. The uncertainty of asking questions and receiving incomplete or no response was a major concern. Instead of panicking, the idea of utilizing the hospital policy for communication arose. The “blue” phone was the answer to the problem, so it was retrieved from storage and communication was in full effect. This communication device was used to call a medical interpreter instead of relying on a family member.
In addition, the nonverbal communication was a dominant component to displaying cultural competency. Smiling with the patient and wife was sufficient in gaining their trust. The Purnell model helped to certify how important competence, patience and cultural accommodation is. By initiating this model, the nurse will understand that patient population continues to change and become more diverse than once before. The most important domain in the Purnell model is communication because this transcends across all cultures. With proper communication, patients, family and clinical professionals may become more competent and culturally aware.