Cultural competence among nursing students in Saudi Arabia: a cross-sectional study

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Cruz, J. P.
Alquwez, N.
Cruz, C. P.
Felicilda-Reynaldo, R. F. D.
Vitorino, L. M. [UNIFESP]
Islam, S. M. S.
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Aim: This study assessed the cultural competence of nursing students in a Saudi University. Background: With the current situation of immigration in Saudi Arabia, the cultural diversity in healthcare facilities is anticipated to grow. This presents a great challenge to the members of the healthcare team. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 272 nursing students in a Saudi university using a self-administered questionnaire consisting of two parts, namely the respondents' demographics and cultural background information sheet and the Cultural Capacity Scale Arabic version. Results: The respondents showed the highest competence in their ability to demonstrate communication skills with culturally diverse patients and lowest in the familiarity with health-or illness-related cultural knowledge or theory. Gender, academic level, clinical exposure, prior diversity training, the experience of taking care of culturally diverse patients and patients belonging to special population groups were significant factors that could likely to influence cultural competence. Discussion: The findings suggest that the Saudi nursing students possess the ability to provide culturally appropriate nursing care to patients with a diverse cultural background. Conclusions: Despite the good cultural competence reflected in this study, some aspects in ensuring a culturally competent care rendered by Saudi nursing students need to be improved. Implications for nursing & health policy: With the country's Saudization policy in health care (replacing foreign nurses with Saudi nurses), the findings can be used in designing training and interventions to meet the needs of Saudi nursing students regarding cultural competence development, which is integral in their preparation to assume their future roles as nurses. Policy guidelines, such as including cultural competency training and foreign languages training as mandatory continuing education for nurses, as well as integrating cultural competency and foreign languages in the prelicensure curriculum, should be developed and implemented in Saudi Arabia and other countries.
International Nursing Review. Hoboken, v. 64, n. 2, p. 215-223, 2017.