Southern African Journal of Critical Care (Online)
On-line version ISSN 2078-676X
DE BEER, J and CHIPPS, J. A survey of cultural competence of critical care nurses in KwaZulu-Natal. South. Afr. j. crit. care (Online) [online]. 2014, vol.30, n.2, pp. 50-54. ISSN 2078-676X. http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/SAJCC.188.
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 public hospital in KwaZulu-Natal Province, using the Inventory to Access the Process of Cultural Competency - Revised (IAPCC-R) cultural competence questionnaire. RESULTS: The overall cultural competence score for the respondents was 70.2 (standard deviation 7.2) out of a possible 100, with 77 (74%) of the respondents scoring in the awareness range, 26 (25%) in the competent range, and only 1 in the proficient range. Nurses from non-English-speaking backgrounds scored 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.