Tips for working through racial and cultural challenges in nursing


Nursing is an integral part of the health care system. It encompasses the advancement of health, prevention against illness, and taking care of physically and mentally ill people of all age groups. 

Health care providers working towards health disparity will need to recognize their own implicit biases to enhance medical care truly. 

Implicit bias is not intentional, but it can still impact how we judge others based on race, ability, gender, culture, ethnicity, religion, and language. 

Health care professionals may manifest the same level of implied prejudice working towards health equity. 

Implicit biases among health care providers have adverse effects regarding patient care procedures like improper treatment and preliminary diagnosis, taking less time to treat patients, discharging patients with insufficient follow-ups.

Implicit bias is a condition in which humans unconsciously categorize good and bad inferences. Nurses with implicit bias determine and invest less effort in the therapeutic relationship with patients, which is the key to providing quality care to patients. 

Scientists have developed different approaches to ease implicit biases; these include emotional regulation mindfulness, i.e., to empty the mind of distracting beliefs and understand a patient’s perspective of their illness. 

However, implicit bias in nursing can shape how healthcare providers interact with patients because everyone is vulnerable to it. 

Here are some beneficial tips for working through racial and cultural challenges in nursing.

1. Overcoming Cultural Differences

Culture plays a vital role in medical communication with doctors and nurses. Nurses can provide patients with culturally sensitive care to overcome cultural differences, i.e., learning about different cultures. 

To become more culturally sensitive nurses, they can communicate with patients in their mother tongue to understand their health issues clearly. 

Cultural differences play a crucial role in consent, a person’s willingness to follow a doctor’s recommendations. 

2. Facing Racial Discrimination

Racism is a belief that humans may be divided into different biological groups. It has various forms of ethnicity or discrimination. 

Believe it or not, every other nurse faces racial discrimination personally or witnesses its effects on patients or family members. 

As healthcare providers, there is no place for discrimination. Nurses can ensure that they can provide optimal care irrespective of a patient’s color or socioeconomic factors to improve the quality of health care costs and outcomes.

3. Building up tolerance levels

A nurse who isn’t culturally proficient may find communication ineffective and challenging; the nurse may not understand what the patient is dealing with and treat with the wrong medication.  

To overcome this issue, nurses must build up a tolerance level to avoid causing medical errors and unintentional harm to patients. 

Explaining medical services helps build high tolerance levels, particularly with patients from different cultural backgrounds. 

4. Start Being Respectful

Respect is an essential code in the health care department. Nurses can show respect to patients by expressing gratitude, treating patients with pride, and acknowledging them as individuals. 

One of the most common forms of disrespect mentioned by patients is arrogant behavior, leading to adverse events. 

Creating a policy for disrespectful behavior plays a vital role for the administration. They must set an example by setting a code of respect. 

Establish a committee and educate the nurses about disrespectful behavior by treating them with the same respect you want them to treat patients of all nationalities.

5. Religious Acceptance (Accepting Religious beliefs of others)

Religion is a term used to express someone’s faith in God. Assimilation of religion into nursing practice can have effective outcomes in patients’ health. 

Conflicts with one religious beliefs can lead to refusal of treatment. In this aspect, nursing practice must include some training programs regarding honoring patients’ spirituality. 

Nurses often fail to recognize this essential care required for religious acceptance of different beliefs. Knowledge of other religions is crucial for healthcare departments to improve spiritual care competency.

6. Making a Collaborative Environment

The environment plays an essential role in nursing. It’s where nurses cope with various patients. A collaborative environment in nursing improves patient care, which leads to improvements in patients’ experience. 

Nurses are one of the most evident health care professionals who provide strong fundamentals of a collaborative environment. 

7. Gender Bias

Our society has several stereotypes that lead to affect every profession. Perception of females as nurses has consigned to less esteemed work. 

Nursing professionals should understand gender-related issues to overcome bias in nursing. It requires gender equivalence and acting conclusively in response to gender bias whenever it happens. 

Nurse leaders who play an essential role in gender discrimination will provide the highest quality care to every patient.

8. Enlightenment Education

The impact of education in nursing is essentially significant because it supports the best patient outcomes. Nursing education needs to be transformed to prepare nurses of all races to work effectively in a complex system with health professionals. 


Cultural and racial challenges are an essential component in the health care department, so the management should recognize challenges faced by their employees, especially nurses. 

Significant measures should be taken to improve cultural and racial bias among health care professionals to improve the entire health outcomes. 

Patients tend to feel safer in such facilities where different teams work together. There is a need to increase awareness of such challenges in every health care facility worldwide, making it a global phenomenon.


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