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Keywords:

  • grounded theory;
  • dimensional analysis;
  • cultural discovery;
  • cultural competence;
  • Vietnamese;
  • nurses

Cultural discovery in nursing practice with Vietnamese clients

Background. Although there is a developing body of literature dealing with cultural care issues there is a continuing need for research based knowledge of how nurses work within a multicultural population in providing culturally competent care. Nurses’ experiences with Vietnamese clients can contribute to the knowledge of how to provide cultural care.

Purpose. The purpose of this 1997 study was to investigate what North American nurses learned from their work with Vietnamese clients.

Method. A grounded theory approach was employed. A purposive sample of 27 Registered Nurses, who work with Vietnamese clients in North America, in acute care, community, and clinic settings were interviewed using a semi-structured format. Following ethical approval, an explanation of the study, and data collection, data were analysed using dimensional analysis. Verifiability, adequacy of the findings, and empirical grounding of the theory was established through use of the constant comparative method as well as review of the research method and the study results by selected participants in the study and a nursing expert.

Findings. The action process of cultural discovery was found as the most fruitful explanation of nurses’ experiences. Properties of cultural discovery were learning to see them, seeing a common humanity, and learning to see how they see health. The condition of cultural discovery was making a connection with the consequences of learning how to provide sensitive care and a changed nurse.

Conclusions. Nurses can learn to become more culturally competent in their care for Vietnamese clients. Nurses learned to be more aware of the differences among people of different cultures as well as recognizing common elements among different groups. They learned to broaden and redevelop their concept of health and to respect the social adjustments that the Vietnamese were making.