A survey of cultural competence of critical care nurses in KwaZulu-Natal

Jennifer de Beer, Jennifer Chipps


Background. Nurses are primary caregivers and have a key role in providing care in a culturally diverse healthcare system, such as in South Africa (SA). Nurses need cultural competence in the management of patients within this cultural context. A healthcare system staffed by a culturally competent workforce can provide high-quality care to diverse population groups, contributing to the elimination of health disparities.

Objective. To describe the self-rated levels of cultural competence of nurses working in critical care settings in a selected public hospital in SA.

Methods. A quantitative descriptive survey was conducted with nurses from eight critical care units in a selected public hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, using the Inventory to Access the Process of Cultural Competency - Revised (IAPCC-R) cultural competence questionnaire. 

Results. The overall cultural competence score for the respondents was 70.2 (standard deviation 7.2) out of a possible 100, with 77 (74%) of the respondents scoring in the awareness range, 26 (25%) in the competent range, and only 1 in the proficient range. Nurses from non-English-speaking backgrounds scored significantly higher in cultural competence than English-speaking nurses.

Conclusion. In addressing the many faces of cultural diversity, healthcare professionals must realise that these faces share a common vision: to obtain quality healthcare services that are culturally responsive and culturally relevant to the specific cultural group.

Authors' affiliations

Jennifer de Beer, Critical Care Nursing, School of Nursing, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa;College of Nursing- Jeddah , King Saud bin Abdul Aziz University for Health Sciences, Saudi Arabia

Jennifer Chipps, School of Nursing, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

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Culture; Transcultural nursing; Cultural care; Critical care

Cite this article

Southern African Journal of Critical Care 2014;30(2):50-54. DOI:10.7196/SAJCC.188

Article History

Date submitted: 2014-02-04
Date published: 2014-10-29

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