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FIU Nursing The Concept of Cultural Sensitivity Discussion Responses

FIU Nursing The Concept of Cultural Sensitivity Discussion Responses


Provide a response to each:

1) How can you be supportive to someone who is different (like: looks, accent, SES, religious/ sexual/ or political persuasion) from you?  

I think I can be supportive of others who are different from us, no matter what that difference it, by not assuming what they want or need in an ally. I think the first step would be to educate myself on some of the issues that face their communities. Next, it is important to talk to people who are different from us and really listen. In this way they feel heard and that others really care for their thoughts and feelings. Lastly, I think if we witness unkind acts of others towards them, we should stand up and not tolerate such behavior.  

2) Do you think as a country, we are prepared to embrace individual differences? 

I think there are individuals and groups in this country who are prepared to embrace individual differences. I would even guess that even a slight majority of people would feel this way. However, I feel that many policies and institutions are in place that do not embrace these differences and it is not so easy to change them. Change does not happen on its own and it does not always happen quickly.  

3) What do you think we need in order to welcome diversity and be inclusive ?

Studies have shown that reducing prejudice and discrimination can occur by encouraging changes in how people categorize others (Pati et al., 2021). For example, we should not engage in black and white thinking such as “us versus them”. When people can be aware of that individuals fall into multiple categories and then can find commonalities with others, we are more likely to reduce our own biases (Pati et al., 2021). I think it is great news that there are ways to reduce prejudice, welcome diversity, and become more inclusive. However, these improvements will not come without effort. I think that places of employment, education, and the media must include training and information that promotes inclusivity. Without an intentional effort, the change that is needed will be too slow. Holistic nursing involves a caring framework and communication in a way that reflects cultural awareness, caring communication, and addresses psychosocial needs (Dossey and Keegan, 2016). Therefore, to provide care that is inclusive of the whole person to a wide range of people we must be culturally aware and open to diversity and inclusion.  


We need cultural awareness to communicate with people from different backgrounds in today’s diversified environment. We learn to respect cultural diversity through our experiences and obstacles. In this discussion post, I will share a personal experience when I struggled with cultural sensitivity, how my attitude has transformed as a result, and how the concepts of a prominent theorist have guided my understanding.

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to work on a group project with colleagues from various cultural backgrounds. In our discussions, I noticed that some team members had distinct communication styles and expectations. There were moments when I unknowingly dismissed certain ideas or unintentionally dominated conversations without considering the cultural context. This led to misunderstandings and a lack of effective collaboration within the team.

My attitude has significantly evolved since that experience. Recognizing the importance of cultural sensitivity, I embarked on a journey of self-education. I delved into literature, engaged in conversations with individuals from different backgrounds, attended workshops within my organization that focused on cross-cultural communication, and encouraged my colleagues and direct reports to attend these informational sessions. This process helped me realize that cultural differences are not barriers but opportunities to learn and grow. I now approach interactions with an open mind, actively seeking to understand varying perspectives and adapting my communication style to accommodate different cultural norms. This will truly help me in my new career as a nurse when dealing with patients and their families who have cultural differences.

Edward T. Hall’s concept of “cultural dimensions” has been instrumental in shaping my understanding of cultural sensitivity. I learned about Edward T. Hall’s concept while attending a workshop on cultural sensitivity at my workplace. He introduced the idea of high-context and low-context cultures, emphasizing the role of context in communication. My struggles in the past were often rooted in misunderstandings caused by differences in context. Hall’s theory made me realize that interpreting messages requires an awareness of not just the words spoken, but also the nonverbal cues, shared experiences, and cultural norms that shape the message’s meaning.

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