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 An important consideration when working with patients is their cultural background

 An important consideration when working with patients is their cultural background

An important consideration when working with patients is their cultural background


At the same time, PMHNPs must balance their professional and legal responsibilities for assessment and diagnosis with such cultural considerations and interpretations.

Advanced Practice Nurses commonly work with patients from different cultures and backgrounds, and their assessment requires an understanding of the patient’s culture and personality. There are numerous steps to take for cultural assessment of the patient, and Advanced Practice Nurses must remain aware of cultural considerations and interpretations of behavior for diagnosis. This is especially important when working with substance-related disorders.

As a person progresses through their life, culture has the ability to influence one’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Understanding an individual’s cultural background to help find answers on where they have been and where they may progress in the future. The advanced practice nurse’s knowledge of behavior will be needed as he or she works with patients’ cultures to better diagnose patients experiencing substance-related disorders.

Culture and personal experience affect how someone lives his or her life and what roles others play in the person’s life. Individuals develop a sense of who they are, values, behaviors, beliefs, and definitions of purpose according to their culture. Cultural identity may also lead to differences between an interpretation of behavior among a culture and that of other cultures. As a result, when assessing and diagnosing patients, it is important to identify ways in which patients’ cultural background may contribute both positively and negatively to patient care. At the same time, the focus must remain on establishing a diagnosis based on current observations related to the patient’s health.

Culture can be either a source of knowledge or a barrier to understanding. Advanced practice nurses should maintain an awareness of patient cultural values and individual interpretations of behavior in order to complete accurate and thorough assessments, especially with regards to substance related disorders.

In order to provide culturally competent care, it is normal for health care workers to question the norms of other cultures and personal interpretations of individual behaviors. However, as professionals, nurses must first understand the cultural background and health patterns of patients in order to develop strategies for successful treatments. This includes an understanding of substance abuse, an imbalance between a person’s physical condition, substance abuse patterns, and cultural considerations. The nurse should also be aware of their legal responsibilities when diagnosing and treating patients with substance-related disorders.

Advanced practice registered nurses have a variety of roles, including those of primary care providers for people with moderate and severe behavioral health problems such as substance use disorders. Often these individuals live in underserved areas. In states with PMHNP certification, nurse practitioners are legally mandated to have special training and certification in order to practice. This includes requirements for continuing education credits and examination preparation.

Culture is defined by Merriam Webster as “the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group.” An individual’s culture includes the ways that he or she grew up and what was passed on through ancestors and peers. Culture contributes to the customs of an individual, his or her values and behaviors; it also provides the structure for a society. There are many different types of cultures that may be recognized in the United States.

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As professional nurses, health care is our work. We care for people of every age, race and culture as they face physical and emotional pain, loss and hardship. Our role as nurse practitioners is to focus on the individuals who populate health care systems. And we can do this by expanding our roles beyond their present boundaries…

Culture and context are important to understanding substance use. Learn how culture impacts cocaine, alcohol, and drug abuse.

Culture is the basis for values, beliefs and ways of living that members of a group share and pass on to their children. Culture has four components: language, belief, social and technological systems. Language is how we communicate with one another; belief describes what we believe in; social systems is how members of a society interact with each other; and technological systems are the tools a society makes to help increase efficiency, conserve energy and protect against the environment.


 An important consideration when working with patients is their cultural background. Understanding an individual’s culture and personal experiences provides insight into who the person is and where he or she may progress in the future. Culture helps to establish a sense of identity, as well as to set values, behaviors, and purpose for individuals within a society. Culture may also contribute to a divide between specific interpretations of cultural behavior and societal norms. What one culture may deem as appropriate another culture may find inappropriate. As a result, it is important for advanced practice nurses to remain aware of cultural considerations and interpretations of behavior for diagnosis, especially with reference to substance-related disorders. At the same time, PMHNPs must balance their professional and legal responsibilities for assessment and diagnosis with such cultural considerations and interpretations.

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