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The Basic Concepts of Transcultural Nursing


Transcultural Nursing - A humanistic and scientific area of formal study and practice in nursing which is focused upon differences and similarities among cultures with respect to human care, health, and illness based upon the people's cultural values, beliefs, and practices, and to use this knowledge to provide cultural specific or culturally congruent nursing care to people ... Leininger

Leininger (1991) notes the main goal of transcultural nursing is to provide culturally specific care. But before transcultural nursing can be adequately understood, there must be a basic knowledge of key terminology such as culture, cultural values, culturally diverse nursing care, ethnocentrism, race, and ethnography.

Culture refers to norms and practices of a particular group that are learned and shared and guide thinking, decisions, and actions.

Cultural values the individual's desirable or preferred way of acting or knowing something that is sustained over a period of time and which governs actions or decisions.

Culturally diverse nursing care an optimal mode of health care delivery, refers to the variability of nursing approaches needed to provide culturally appropriate care that incorporates an individuals cultural values, beliefs, and practices including sensitivity to the environment from which the individual comes and to which the individual may ultimately return. (Leininger, 1985)

Ethnocentrism the perception that one's own way is best when viewing the world (Geiger & Davidhizar, 1991). Our perspective is the standard by which all other perspectives are measured and held to scrutiny.

Ethnic relates to large groups of people classified according to common traits or customs .

Race Though many definitions exist, there appears to be no established agreement on any scientific definition of race. What we do find though, is the general belief among the scientific community that race has no biological or natural basis. For more information click here

Ethnography is the study of a culture. The methodological approach of ethnographic research central to the nurse's ability to develop a heightened awareness of culturally diverse needs of individuals, is to define a field for observation for study of the environment and its people, as well as the reciprocal relationship that exists between the two (Tripp-Reimer & Dougherty, 1985).

Geiger, J.N. & Davidhizar, R.E. (1991). Transcultural nursing: assessment in intervention. St. Louis: Mosby-Year Book.
Leininger, M. (1991). Transcultural nursing: the study and practice field. Imprint, 38(2), 55-66.
Leininger, M. (1985). Qualitative research methods in nursing. New York: Grune & Straton.
Tripp-Reimer, T & Dougherty, M.C. (1985). Cross cultural nursing research. Annual Review of Nursing Research, 3, 77-104.


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