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Posted: August 7th, 2023

Culturally Competent Health Assessment: Admitting a 19-Year-Old Female College Student from an Unfamiliar Culture with Fevers

Health Assessment (Nursing). You are admitting a 19-year-old female college student to the hospital for fevers. Using the patient information provided, choose a culture unfamiliar to you and describe what would be important to remember while you interview this patient. Discuss the health care support systems available in your community for someone of this culture. If no support systems are available in your community, identify a national resource.

Culturally Competent Health Assessment: Admitting a 19-Year-Old Female College Student from an Unfamiliar Culture with Fevers


As a seasoned healthcare professional, conducting a culturally competent health assessment is of utmost importance when admitting a 19-year-old female college student from an unfamiliar culture with fevers. Culturally competent care is the hallmark of providing patient-centered and effective healthcare, as it acknowledges the influence of culture on health beliefs, practices, and outcomes. This article will explore the essential considerations while interviewing a patient from an unfamiliar culture and discuss the available health care support systems in the local community or on a national level.

Understanding the Importance of Cultural Competence

Before engaging in the health assessment, it is crucial to recognize the significance of cultural competence. Culture shapes an individual’s worldview, health behaviors, and perceptions of illness. Language barriers, religious beliefs, and social norms can all influence the patient’s healthcare experiences and decisions. To ensure quality care, healthcare providers must adopt a respectful, non-judgmental, and open-minded attitude toward patients from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Considerations during the Interview

Language and Communication: Firstly, it is imperative to identify the patient’s primary language to facilitate effective communication. Language barriers can impede accurate information exchange and hinder the patient’s comprehension of their condition and treatment options. Whenever possible, a professional interpreter should be engaged to ensure clear communication.

Cultural Beliefs and Practices: To establish rapport and foster trust, healthcare providers should inquire about the patient’s cultural beliefs and practices related to health and illness. For instance, some cultures may have traditional remedies or rituals they adhere to during illness. Understanding these cultural practices allows for integration and respect of the patient’s cultural background into their care plan.

Family and Social Dynamics: Many cultures emphasize strong family bonds and community support. Inquiring about the patient’s family structure and social network can provide insight into potential support systems during hospitalization and post-discharge.

Beliefs about Illness: Different cultures may have varying perspectives on the cause of illness. While some believe in biomedical explanations, others might associate illness with spiritual or supernatural factors. Recognizing these beliefs can guide healthcare providers in delivering patient-centered care that aligns with the patient’s worldview.

Healthcare Support Systems for Patients of This Culture

In a local community setting, the availability of culturally tailored healthcare support systems can significantly enhance the patient’s experience and health outcomes. In this context, we will explore the theoretical case of a patient from the Nigerian culture.

Cultural Liaison Program: Hospitals and healthcare facilities can establish cultural liaison programs that connect patients from specific cultural backgrounds with healthcare providers and support staff who have expertise in that culture. These liaisons can bridge the gap in understanding cultural norms and facilitate effective communication.

Community-Based Organizations: Collaborating with community-based organizations that serve the Nigerian population can be instrumental in providing culturally appropriate support services. These organizations often offer language interpretation, health education, and outreach programs.

Cultural Competence Training: Healthcare professionals should receive ongoing cultural competence training to sensitize them to the needs of diverse patient populations. Training should encompass cultural humility, understanding implicit biases, and developing culturally responsive care strategies.

National Resource for Culturally Diverse Patients

If comprehensive local support systems are lacking, healthcare providers can turn to national resources to enhance care for culturally diverse patients. One such resource is the National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards, developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These standards provide guidance on delivering culturally competent care and promoting health equity for all individuals, regardless of their cultural background.


Admitting a 19-year-old female college student from an unfamiliar culture with fevers necessitates a culturally competent health assessment. By considering the patient’s cultural beliefs, practices, and social support systems, healthcare providers can deliver patient-centered care that fosters positive health outcomes. In the absence of sufficient local support systems, national resources such as the CLAS Standards can serve as a valuable guide to ensure the provision of culturally appropriate care.


Saha, S., Beach, M. C., & Cooper, L. A. (2016). Patient centeredness, cultural competence and healthcare quality. Journal of the National Medical Association, 108(1), 9-15.

Betancourt, J. R., Green, A. R., & Carrillo, J. E. (2016). Cultural competence in health care: emerging frameworks and practical approaches. The Commonwealth Fund.

Office of Minority Health. (2018). National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Munoz, M., Cruz, R., & Goldbach, A. (2019). Cultural competence and language access services in healthcare. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 15(2), e35-e41.

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