Understanding Cultural Competence in a Multicultural Nursing Workforce: Registered Nurses' Experience in Saudi Arabia

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Abstract

Purpose:

In Saudi Arabia, the health system is mainly staffed by expatriate nurses from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Given the potential risks this situation poses for patient care, it is important to understand how cultural diversity can be effectively managed in this multicultural environment. The purpose of this study was to explore notions of cultural competence with non-Saudi Arabian nurses working in a major hospital in Saudi Arabia.

Design:

Face-to-face, audio-recorded, semistructured interviews were conducted with 24 non-Saudi Arabian nurses. Deductive data collection and analysis were undertaken drawing on Campinha-Bacote's cultural competence model. The data that could not be explained by this model were coded and analyzed inductively.

Findings:

Nurses within this culturally diverse environment struggled with the notion of cultural competence in terms of each other's cultural expectations and those of the dominant Saudi culture.

Discussion:

The study also addressed the limitations of Campinha-Bacote's model, which did not account for all of the nurses' experiences. Subsequent inductive analysis yielded important themes that more fully explained the nurses' experiences in this environment.

Implications for Practice:

The findings can inform policy, professional education, and practice in the multicultural Saudi setting.

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