Imprint 2021 January | Page 29

Transcultural nursing is based on a theory written in the 1950s by Dr . Madeleine Leininger . In her research , she discovered that people of different cultures share some commonalities and differences . Culturally congruent care is care that is in harmony with the patient ’ s worldview ; this is the central tenet of the theory . The theory advances nursing knowledge . It is useful in “ teaching , research , practice , and consultation ,” and is invaluable in discovering knowledge of cultures across the world ( Leininger , 2002 , p . 190 ). Until the time that Dr . Leininger proposed her theory of Culture Care Diversity and Universality , little was known about the role of culture in care .
“ The purpose and goal of the theory is to use research findings to provide culturally congruent , safe , and meaningful care to clients of diverse or similar cultures ” ( Leininger , 2002 , p . 190 ). Dr . Leininger wrote that if culture were better understood , there would be less violence in the world . With the theory in hand , new knowledge of culture and care “ on well-being , health , illness , and death ” through research continues to be developed ( p . 190 ).
The theory focuses both on generic and professional knowledge . Although the nurse knows the professional ways , the patient knows the cultural ways . To provide culturally congruent care , both types of knowledge are important . Leininger ’ s Sunrise Model is a graphic that depicts the components of cultural care diversity and nursing . It demonstrates how care is influenced by “ religion , politics , economics , worldview , environment , cultural values , history , language , gender , and others ” ( Leininger , 2002 , p . 190 ). If the nurse employs the model , factors such as cultural pain , racial bias , and other harmful cultural stressors may be avoided .
Traveling the Road to Culturally Competent Care To promote cultural care , Dr . Leininger created the Transcultural Nursing Society ( TCNS ). The mission of the TCNS to “ enhance the quality of culturally congruent , competent , and equitable care that results in improved health and well-being for people worldwide ” ( Transcultural Nursing Society , 2020 ). Certification in Transcultural Nursing is offered through the TCNS organization at tcns . org . Certification information is located on the website and is either advanced or basic . Membership in TCNS provides free access to the Journal of Transcultural Nursing ( first published in 1989 ), conference information , and comradery with other nurses and healthcare professionals who want to provide optimal culturally congruent care .
Some colleges and universities offer courses and degrees in transcultural nursing . Obtaining cultural competency as a nurse is a long-traveled road that probably never ends . Knowledge and the willingness to provide culturally congruent care are essential tools for the journey . Begin first with a selfexamination of cultural ways and feelings about other cultures . What does your family pass down through the generations to provide cultural comfort and healing ?
When assessing or caring for a patient , ask the patient if there are any cultural practices or beliefs that should be known to provide culturally congruent care . Much research is published to help learn about cultural beliefs and practices . Become an interested reader about culture . Make sure that the care provided includes the ways that are important to the patient . Consider becoming a certified transcultural nurse as evidence that you are prepared to provide supportive and holistic care . n