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The diversity of U.S. population has necessitated for provision of culturally competent care based on the needs of individual patients. Nurses are positioned to provide culturally competent care to ensure positive patient outcomes (Ritter, Graham, 2017). Provision of culturally competent care is important in reducing health care disparities among various racial/ethnic groups in the United States. Nurses are responsible in providing quality and safe care based on patient’s cultural beliefs, values, and practices. Most of the Native Americans live in rural and isolated areas; thus, making provision of care a challenge. A culturally competent health care system is important in improving health outcomes and quality of care.

Many Native Americans experiencing homelessness in towns and cities suffer from various interwoven issues including excessive consumption of alcohol, intergenerational violence and trauma, mental health problems, substance abuse, and extreme poverty. According to a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Native Americans are always overrepresented by 19% among people experiencing the problem of homelessness (Noe et al., 2014). Also, this population group have higher rates of excessive intake of alcohol and substance abuse.

Working with patients from diverse cultural backgrounds has resulted to some opportunities and challenges for nurses when delivering culturally competent care (Ritter, Graham, 2017). Nurses should identify the differences in cultural beliefs, values, and practices that may arise in the clinical practice when providing care to Native Americans. To address these issues affecting the Native Americans requires improved cultural competence in the clinical practice among caregivers to ensure that the treatment and care are sensitive and relevant to Native Americans. Based on the analysis of some scholarly articles and my personal clinical experience, various strategies can be implemented to ensure provision of culturally competent care to Native Americans.

The first strategy is to perform a self-assessment on cultural competence. As a registered nurse working in a culturally diverse setting, it is important to determine your personal strengths and weaknesses in relation to cultural competence in the workplace. A number of tools for undertaking a self-assessment on cultural competence have been designed by some organizations. Secondly, as a health care professional working with people diverse cultural backgrounds, it is important to obtain a certificate in cultural competence. Obtaining this certificate will enable a nurse to increase his/her cultural knowledge, skills, and awareness through attending a number of culturally competent workshops, seminars, or training (Noe et al., 2014). This strategy will ensure that an individual nurse gains an insight of some basic cultural beliefs, values, and practices of the Native Americans.

The third strategy is improving communication and minimize language barriers. Studies have shown that lack of effective communication and language barriers are the leading challenges that affect provision of culturally competent care to Native Americans. The worldview, values, and beliefs of Native Americans are strongly rooted within their traditional language use; thus, language is important in assessing their culture (Noe et al., 2014). It will be better when a nurse can speak the language of the Native Americans or find a translator who can help in communicating with patients having limited English proficiency. The last strategy is engaging directly in a cross-cultural interactions with Native American patients. Effective interaction with patients when providing care requires a nurse to understand and effectively explore cultural needs, values, beliefs, and practices of the patients.


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