Emergency Nurses' Caring Experiences With Mexican American Patients

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Healthcare disparities have been widening for the Hispanic population. Culturally competent care may alleviate these disparities. The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand emergency nurses' experiences when caring for Mexican American patients.


Five Caucasian, non-Hispanic emergency nurses were interviewed within 2 weeks of caring for Mexican American patients in a hospital in the Midwest.


The themes that arose were language barrier, continuity of care, and limited cultural knowledge. The language barrier affected all aspects of care. The participant that spoke Spanish on a limited level was the only one to describe the establishment of a nurse-patient relationship.


Hospital translation services should be available 24 hours a day and nurses should receive training from hospital translators to learn basic Spanish and the implications of Hispanic cultural values on their nursing care. Future research to assess the Spanish language skills of emergency nurses and the impact of these skills on the nurse-patient relationship is warranted.

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