Purnell’s Theory for Cultural Competence.

Purnell’s Theory for Cultural Competence

Description of the Theory

The Purnell Theory for Cultural Competence began as an organizing framework during 1991 when the author, Purnell Larry, was lecturing undergraduate students and identified the need for staffs and students to have a framework through which they could learn about the cultures of their patients including their families as well as their own cultures. Basing on comments on comments from students, Purnell was convinced that cultural competence and ethnocentric behavior was inexistent. As a result, the Purnell Model for Cultural Competence was developed as an organizing framework having precise questions and a format that could be used to assess culture in clinical practice settings. All healthcare disciplines place an emphasis on communication as well as the need to know the ethnocultural beliefs of patients. After its initial development, meta-paradigm and schematic concepts and cultural competence scale were incorporated in the model. The major assumptions of the Purnell’s model for cultural competence draw on a broader perspective, which implies that they are applicable in all environmental contexts and practice disciplines. In this regard, a healthcare provider who is cultural competent tends to be aware of his/her thoughts, existence, environment and sensations and does not let these factors influence the patient receiving care. Cultural competence entails adapting care in a way that it is consistent with the patient’s culture. The following are the major assumptions of the Purnell’s model for cultural competence:

All healthcare disciplines require the same information regarding cultural diversity.
All healthcare disciplines make use of the same meta-paradigm concepts of health, person, family, community, and the global society.
There is no culture that is better than the other; instead, they are merely different.
There are core similarities across all cultures.
There are differences within, between and among cultures.
Cultures are subject to change gradually in a society that is stable;
The level to which a culture differs from the dominant culture is determined by the secondary and primary characteristics of culture.
If patients are co-participants in health care and are given the choice in selecting health-related interventions, plans and goals, then, there will be an improvement in health outcomes.
Culture exerts a significant impact on a person’s interpretation of healthcare and how he/she responds to care.
Families and individuals fit into numerous cultural groups.
Each person deserves to be respected for his/her cultural heritage and uniqueness.
Caregivers require both specific and general cultural information in order to offer care that is both culturally competent and sensitive.
Assessments, plans, and interventions that are culturally competent tend to improve patients’ care.
Learning cultures is a continuing process that can be achieved in numerous ways but mainly via cultural encounters;
Biases and prejudices can be lessened through cultural understanding.
The effectiveness of care can be improved through reflecting on a distinctive understanding of the lifeways, beliefs, and values of individual acculturation patterns and diverse populations.
Cultural and racial differences need the adaptations of the standard interventions.
Cultural awareness tends to improve the self-awareness of the caregiver.
Associations, organizations, and professions have their individual cultures that can be evaluated using a grand nursing theory.

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