Important terms in the definition of culture include diversity, cultural diversity, cultural assimilation and of course culture.

What is diversity?

The definition of diversity as summarized from meriam-webster’s online dictionary is

“the state of having people who are different races or who have different cultures in a group or organization”

(retrieved October 29, 2016)

What is cultural diversity?

The definition of cultural diversity expands upon the definition for diversity itself but encompasses an entire area or the world.

What is cultural assimilation?

My definition of cultural assimilation from this class is when an individual adapts to the dominant culture in their area, picking up the habits and traditions of that culture. They may or may not lose all or some of their own cultural traditions in the process. It may be voluntary to fit in, but it can also occur naturally as they live among the new culture.

And finally..

What is culture?

My definition of culture from this class is that culture includes everything that a person believes, practices, and their traditions and rituals, including what was passed down through the generations as well as what they have added to their own beliefs. The definition of culture includes race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and socioeconomic status. Spector (2004) talks about the definition of culture being like the luggage that is carried around throughout our lives. The Office of Minority Health states on their website that the definition of culture “refers to integrated patterns of human behavior that include the language, thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions of racial, ethnic, religious, or social groups.” (retrieved August 16, 2009)

The nursing culture course:

The nursing culture class was taken over an 8 week summer session. As with all of these nursing classes it required a lot of writing, and a lot of research. For the scholarly papers in my program we use APA formatting. The professors are very strict about the APA style and rules. They also require references for everything. This will help to prepare you for your graduate level papers.

This class gave a general overview of culture and the definition of culture. Along with this definition of culture it was discussed how it should be applied in nursing practice. Cultural competency was emphasized throughout the course. The professor offered a link to a course about cultural competency. This course offers 9 free nursing ceu’s and can be found on our free nursing ceu page.

After the general information, the textbook by Spector, covered several different cultures in more detail. It was very interesting to learn more about the cultures we already see on a regular basis as well as the ones we rarely encounter. It is important to note that different cultures have a different definition of health and a different definition of illness, they may also have a different definition of culture. The course activities were based on the definition of culture.

Our specific instructor required discussion forum activities, several short weekly papers such as on diversity, cultural competency, and interviews with a variety of people followed by a short paper. The first week we had to come up with our own definition of culture so bookmark us and come back to look at the definition of culture and some of the other terms when you need them. The interviews we performed were with an individual living in Canada who’s parents were from England. The interview was meant to show if she and her family had assimilated and what cultural traditions from England they still practice. Another interview was with an individual who practices alternative medicine, specifically herbal remedies. It is often helpful to add the definition of culture, or some of the other definitions related to culture in your papers.

There are several links to herbal treatments and alternative medicine under the reference area for the weekly assignments. This information was of great interest to us, it is important to remember when we are obtaining information from our patients that we be sure to ask if they take any over the counter medications, including herbal medications. We also need to ask if they use any home treatments for their condition. An easy way to help a patient to discuss these topics is to ask what they are currently doing or taking for the particular concern or illness. Remember that many patients do not consider vitamins or herbal remedies as medication and may not mention them unless asked. It is important for all medications to be listed to avoid medication interactions.

These interviews utilized the heritage assessment tool from Spector (2004). I also used this template for my final paper on the Filipino culture, a draft is available in the free members area. For the final it is best to obtain as much information as you can rather than the short answers this template asks for. The class required papers to be written from these interviews, again adding a definition of culture is a great trick. Adding a definition of culture related terms also shows that you have an understanding of the definition of culture.

Want access to our reference list for our weekly forum posts and papers for this course.  Finding references is half the battle.

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