A survey of cultural competence of critical care nurses in KwaZulu-Natal
De Beer, Jennifer
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BACKGROUND: Nurses are primary caregivers and have a key role in providing care in a culturally diverse healthcare system, such as in South Africa (SA). Nurses need cultural competence in the management of patients within this cultural context. A healthcare system staffed by a culturally competent workforce can provide high-quality care to diverse population groups, contributing to the elimination of health disparities. OBJECTIVE: To describe the self-rated levels of cultural competence of nurses working in critical care settings in a selected public hospital in SA. METHODS: A quantitative descriptive survey was conducted with nurses from eight critical care units in a selected public hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, using the Inventory to Access the Process of Cultural Competency - Revised (IAPCC-R) cultural competence questionnaire. RESULTS: Nearly three quarters of the critical care nurses scored highest in the cultural awareness range of the cultural competence scale, with nurses from non-English-speaking backgrounds scoring significantly higher in cultural competence than English-speaking nurses. CONCLUSION: In addressing the many faces of cultural diversity, healthcare professionals must realise that these faces share a common vision: to obtain quality healthcare services that are culturally responsive and culturally relevant to the specific cultural group.