Clarifying Concepts: Cultural Humility or Competency
cultural humility, cultural competency, immersion, qualitative, mixed methods, nursing students
Cultural competency in the delivery of health care to diverse population groups has become an urgent need in the United States. Yet, despite the incorporation of cultural competency education into nursing curricula, inequities in health care remain. The purpose of this mixed-method study was to identify if differences in perceptions of cultural competence were present in senior nursing students (N = 11) before and after cultural immersion experiences on an Indian reservation. Preimmersion results revealed that the majority considered themselves culturally competent, whereas after immersion, there was a downward shift in scores. Triangulation of the quantitative results alongside a hermeneutic phenomenological analysis of the students' reflective journals revealed a paradox. Students perceived themselves as culturally competent, yet their journals demonstrated many negative stereotypes. Three common themes emerged: seeing with closed eyes, seeing through a fused horizon, and disruption to reshaping. These combined results revealed the misperceptions regarding the concept of cultural competency. Efforts must be made in nursing education to teach students the importance of adopting an ethic of cultural humility, where we emphasize attentive listening and openness to other cultures, and stress the importance of self-reflection and self-critique in our interactions with others.
Journal of Professional Nursing
DOI of Published Version
Isaacson, Mary, "Clarifying Concepts: Cultural Humility or Competency" (2014). College of Nursing Faculty Publications. 26.