Leininger has defined it as a comparative study of cultures to understand similarities and differences across human groups.
The goal is culturally congruent care that fits the people’s valued life pattern and set of meaning which is generated from the people’s themselves rather than based on predetermined criteria. Discovering clients cultural care value, meaning beliefs and practice as they relate to nursing and health care requires nurses to assume the role of learners of client’s culture and co-partners with clients and families in defining the characteristics of meaningful and beneficial care.
Pacquiao (2003) identifies cultural competence as the practitioner, organizational and societal level culturally competent care is the ability of the practitioner to bridge cultural gaps in caring work with cultural differences and enable clients and families to achieve meaningful and supportive care.
Culturally competent communities and societies are knowledgeable and skillful in using healthcare services and articulating there right as well as need, to practitioner and organization. eg. An individual practitioner who is aware of the gypsy culture and skilled in dealing with gypsy families may not be able to provide for their need to be present in a group near the bedside of a hospitalized fly member.
Campinha-Bacote (2002) defines cultural competence as a process of development with 5 interlocking components cultural awareness, knowledge, skills, encounter, desire.
Cultural awareness is an in-deeper self-examination of one’s own background recognizing biases and prejudices and assumptions about people.
Culture knowledge is obtaining sufficient comparative knowledge of diverse groups including their indigenous values, health belief, care practices, and biocultural ecology.
Culture skill includes assessment of social-cultural and biophysical factors influencing the treatment and care of a client.
Culture encounter involves the engagement in cross-cultural interaction that can provide learning of other cultures and opportunities for effective intercultural communication development.
Culture desire is the motivation & commitment to carrying that moves an individual to learn from others, accept the role as a learner, be open and accepting of cultural differences and build upon cultural similarities.