African American Reading Reflection - University Of Iowa, Culturally Competent Nursing - Book Report

905 words - 4 pages

African American Reading Reflection
Aundria Wedig
Trinity College of Nursing and Health Sciences
1. What is the main point?
The African American patient will most likely speak a “Black English” language,
generally embrace a close sense of personal space, and perceive time as flexible and
elastic. These important African American cultural aspects are of vital attention to the
nurse when providing care to ensure culturally competent and harmless care. Not only is
it pertinent that the nurse recognizes the patient’s cultural background to understand how
each of these aspects plays a role in the health of the African American, but also the nurse
should consider individual adjustments to the care provided to ensure the best health
Even though the African American patient may speak the same language as the
nurse, the nurse must develop sensitivity to the “Black English” language the patient
speaks and the differences between the two. There is great potential for misunderstanding
between the nurse and patient because normal words in the English language could be
slang words of the “Black English” language and portray a completely different meaning
to the patient than what the nurse intended. For example, an African American patient’s
response to a diagnostic test being, “It was a real bad experience,” may simply mean it
was a positive experience (Giger, 2017). Another feature of the “Black English” language
is the omission of verbs from sentences. The “Black English” is spoken as, “She at
work,” translates to “She is at work” in the English language. This can cause the African
American patient to seem like he/she is talking at a rapid pace.
I have worked with a plethora of African American coworkers that speak the
“Black English” language. Lots of times I have recognized the rapid pace of speech and
the use of slang words in their language. Most often than not, I would have to reiterate
what they just said to me in order for me to make sure I understood correctly. I believe
this would be a helpful tool for a nurse caring for an African American patient. By having
either the nurse and/or the patient recap what the other just said, both can be certain each
understands each other. This not only solidifies the fact that both are in agreement with
the care being provided but helps build a strong nurse-patient relationship.
Not only must a nurse caring for an African American be cognitive of the
language spoken, but also the use of the patient’s space. African Americans generally
have a close sense of personal space and want to be highly involved in their care. This
aspect of space goes hand-in-hand with time orientation with this type of patient. Since
African Americans perceive time as flexible and elastic, they do not believe that order is
necessary to ...

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