People all over the world have emotions, but the manner by which they express these different emotions vary because of their culture. Language, religion, laws, rituals and traditions greatly affect culture. Take time management for example; some cultures are strict when it comes to punctuality, while some are laid back and relaxed when it comes to their schedules. Another great example is on how people treat the elderly. Read my blog about human emotiions in http://www.the-emotions.com/type-of-emotions.html.
In hospitals and care centers, the patients who check in are often not just locals, there would also be a couple of foreigners occasionally, and this is especially true in countries frequented by foreign tourists. Medical professionals need to know their patients cultural backgrounds first to provide them with the best care possible. Some patients may be in need of spiritual care, like seeking the advice of a rabbi or an imam before getting treatment. Even though these kinds of things are not medical or scientific in nature, the institution should still provide these kinds of services to their patients.
Madeleine Leininger, a nursing theorist and professor, coined the term transcultural nursing to help nurses understand that people come from different countries, and in these countries, people have different beliefs, traditions, and express emotions differently. However, this concept is not just limited for use by nurses and other people in the medical profession; anyone, regardless of their trade, can benefit from learning about this concept.
What are these things that we need to consider in order for us to be more culture sensitive?
1)Persons country of origin
Knowing another persons cultural background can give us an idea on why people act in such manner. Cultures are handed down from generation to generation. Doing research about the country aids in our understanding others better.
2)Learning a new language
Anyone can learn a new language, especially if one loves to travel or works in multicultural workplace. Thanks to the internet, it is now much easier to learn a foreign language more than ever.
3)Religious background Some countries have a dominant religion that most of the citizens subscribe to, like in Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries where the people are mostly Muslims. It is best to understand what the religion is all about. Seeking an expert in such religion can help to answer questions that help us to be more culturally sensitive.
While our human emotions are our common link across cultures, knowing how each person in every country shows this will help us to become more culturally sensitive.