Cultural Insensitivity in India

Nurses encounter circumstances that involve death during their practice. A nurse struggles with the processes of decision-making when managing situations involving death of a patient. Cultures may be insensitive to various aspects of health in society. The Indian culture is considered for analysis due to its focus on achievement of individual self-goals but fails to provide a possibility of failure. Hence, when non-anticipated disappointments occur, incidences of suicide may transpire. Jones, Krishna, Rajendra, and Keenan (2015) illustrate that suicide is rampant in middle and low-income nations such as India. According to Jones et al. (2015), India experiences four times more suicide-related deaths compared to European countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) identifies suicide as a principal cause of death amongst young adults (Jones et al., 2015). Notably, nurses have the highest level of interactions with survivors and families of those who deliberately attempt suicide. In addition, Jones et al. (2015) aver that self-harm and deaths have been a significant public health challenge in India. Therefore, understanding an intervention mechanism would be significant to deal with such cases. Although WHO enlist suicide as among the leading cause of death globally, cultural insensitivity to the problem complicates intervention mechanism and necessitates the need for early interventions.

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Perpetrators consider suicide as an exit from repulsive moments between the parties. According to Jones et al. (2015), there is evidence that suicide emanates from impulsive acts from family arguments or tensed relationships. Indian culture is blamed for bringing up children entangled in perfectionist views (Jones et al., 2015). Thus, the culture does not promote discussions about the possibility to fail or coping with stressful moments (Jones et al., 2015). Accordingly, young children are not adequately prepared to deal with failure and are volatile to such situations when they occur. The Indian cultural insensitivity has a poor mechanism of managing failure, which results in increased incidences of suicide.

Family pressures may lead to suicide cases in Indian culture. According to Jones et al. (2015), past societal attitudes and domestic abuses are significant triggers to suicide. The authors demonstrate that the attitudinal portrayal of society affects the practice of nursing. Additionally, they perceive that nurses are also influenced by society and culture, and hence limiting the delivery of professional service. In addition, when love fails, it can trigger the possibility of suicide. Jones et al. (2015) posit that inadequate finances and enhanced societal expectations on individuals increase the susceptibility to suicide. Thus, cultural insensitivity to these perspectives affects the nursing professionals expected to deliver care to the Indian population.

Nursing professionals operate in a highly dynamic atmosphere. When nurses are providing culturally competent care to diverse society, challenges may arise, hence affecting their operations (Hart & Mareno, 2016). Individuals identify themselves with health care offered within unique cultural behaviors, needs, and beliefs (Hart & Mareno, 2016, p. 121). Hence, for nurses to provide culturally sensitive care, they should understand and recognize the significance of patients and family culture. Besides, to enhance quality and culturally competent care, recruitment of ethnic and racial diversities in the nursing labor force should be implemented (Hart & Mareno, 2016, p. 133). Therefore, as nurses continue to operate in dynamic cultures mixed in traditional needs, attitudes, and principles, it is crucial that integration in the profession is achieved to balance the service.

Religion and matters of faith elicit strong opinions among people. The Indian culture is religious where values and cultures expressed through statements, such as “God has given you a life” (Jones et al., 2015, p. 10), are insensitive to those who attempt suicide in case of low self-esteem and increased guilt. Given the high religious beliefs and cultural practices in the Indian society, Jones et al. (2015) illustrate that they may extend to the professional nursing practice, such as interactions and communication in the ward. Arli and Bakan (2018) also reveal that problems about religious beliefs, communication, or cultural structures significantly affect the nursing practice. Thus, integrating religious care to manage psychological challenges that lead to attempted suicide or self-harm are counterproductive based on the insensitivity applied in communication.

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Indian cultural insensitivity affects the psychological makeup of nurses. Jones et al. (2015) elaborate that the majority of suicide involves deliberate ingestion of organophosphates compounds (OPC), which are available in various forms, such as pesticides in the market (p. 12). Notably, nurses have the role in processing and manage the survivors despite that they come from the same cultural background. Accordingly, the authors mention that this is due to poverty, and poor mental wellness among other pressures in life. The scale of the mental challenge is unknown and may be greater than estimated (Jones et al., 2015, p. 11). Managing survivals and enhanced care in hospital occasion capability and psychological gaps to sustain patients. Statistically, Jones et al. (2015) illustrate that although the highest suicide levels are in England, the rate is at 9.9 per 100,000 of the Indian population, which depicts significant variances. The efforts to manage suicide should be multifaceted by applying micro and macro initiatives focused on family, individual, and societal stages (Jones et al., 2015). Such actions would help to support the creation of an enabling environment such as effective communication systems to assist patients.

Compassion and cultural sensitivity usually correlate. Arli and Bakan (2018) reveal the benefit of intercultural sensitivity and training on compassion and a model for delivering quality care to patients. The authors propose that capacity enhancement of intercultural sensitivity should be encouraged since it supports nurses when managing their work demands given that individual scale scores either increase or decrease with cultural sensitivity (Arli & Bakan, 2018). Further, the authors illustrate that nursing experience challenges when offering services to people of different cultures citing insensitivity to communication (40). Additionally, Arli and Bakan (2018) aver that problem with communication and cross-cultural barriers have impacts on the sensitivity and compassion scale of nurses and affects care. Therefore, there is a need to respond to the insensitivity to communication as a mean of managing barriers that affect quality healthcare.

As it is evident from the discussion, cultural sensitivity to communications affects the provision of care. The negative attitudes such as stigma and stereotypes towards medical aspects may act as obstacles to the provision of quality healthcare. Models about cultural sensitivity to achieve communication and respect of staff attitudes, beliefs, and practices, but balanced against the patients’ needs and their families, should be encouraged within the nursing care. The Indian culture has a weakness of high expectations and perfection, but fails to acknowledge the possibility of failure. Hence, such insensitivity leads to consequences, including suicide, which also carries the same effects to nursing care. Cultural and communication insensitivity should be managed through effective training and capacity building to improve the quality of care.

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