Madeleine Leininger’s Cultural Theory
Madeleine Leininger founded transcultural-nursing care. She is one of the very first nurse anthropologists that recognized care and culture as two major significant phenomena in nursing (Leininger.2002). Care according to Leininger’s concepts has different meaning in different cultures but in general, care refers to assistive or supportive behaviors that improve an individual’s condition (Leininger.2002). According to Madeleine Leininger, care is essential for individuals’ survival, development and ability to deal with life events.
Culture is a value held for a long time, it guides individuals’ decision making, imparts individual believes, norms, life practices, thinking and actions in a specific way.
These cultural practices are learned, shared and hanged on (Leininger .2002). Cultural care according to Madeleine Leininger (2002b) refers to those values, believes which enables, support another person to maintain or in some cases enables another person to improve a person’s conditions. According to Leininger (2002b); cultural care focus is to assist nurses in providing care that is responsive to individual’s cultural perspectives.
To provide holistic care, Madeleine Leininger recommends a nurse should explore and understand the effects of cultural diversity in health care setting. She implied that having an understanding of the cultural diversity would be essential in the provision of an appropriate care to clients, groups, families and communities (Leininger.2002b).
Leininger’s theory is represented as the sunrise enabler to discover culture care, symbolic of hope to generate new knowledge for nursing. The model forms sunrays that influence individuals, groups and groups in health and illness. These sunrays are shown as technological, religious and philosophical, kinship and social, cultural values and lifeway’s, political and legal, economic, and educational. Leininger proposed a nurse to be a mediator, broker and “very knowledgeable about the client’s culture and diverse factors influencing . . . needs and life ways” (Leininger .2002). Leininger placed emphasis on the importance of an appropriate cultural assessment while working with individuals, groups, communities and families in other to provide a culturally congruent care. This process can be accomplished when the nurse follows five phases: recording of observations using all five senses; paying close attention and listening, including for generic folk practices; identification of patterns and narratives; synthesis of themes and patterns; and development of a culturally congruent care plan jointly with the client (Leininger.2002). My understanding of Leiningers theory of cultural care diversities and university is that it is used to discover human care diversity, university and ways to provide a culturally congruent care for people with the intention of maintaining their health and well being (George. T.1998).
Leininger implied that obtaining information regarding the meaning of care involves obtaining client perspectives of care by paying close attention and listening for expression of their care ideas (Leininger.2002). Tamara bloom George (1998) in her transcultural study believed that lack of knowledge and understanding of the chronically mentally ill clients and their subculture makes it difficulty to provide beneficial nursing care that is culturally congruent (George. T.1998). Hence the three care modalities specified in the cultural care theory guided her study to discover the care meaning, expression and experience of the chronically mentally ill within an American community. In a transcultural research study by Joanne Therese Hrscher Ehrmm in 1998, Leiningers cultural diversity and universality theory of nursing was used as a conceptual framework in discovering substance depended African-American women’s’ care meaning, experiences using the three modalities.
The author implied that lack of knowledge regarding the clients’ experiences, beliefs prevented a holistic provision of a culturally relevant congruent care that could contribute to the substance depended African-American women health and wellbeing. The studies reveal that most substance depended African-American women experienced a painful life situation and reports use of substance abuse a coping mechanism (Ehrmin, J. T. 1998).
Madeleine Leininger is one of the nurse researchers who recognized the importance of culture in understanding individual health perspectives, values, behaviors or practices. She developed the theory of transcultural care as one important domain in nursing science. The roots of her theory of cultural care I believe lie in her clinical nursing practice on various cultures. She reinforced that a culturally sensitive care is the essence of nursing care and it is unique to nursing (Leininger.2002).
Ehrmin, J. T. (1998). Culture Care:Meaning and Expression of African-American
Women Residing in an inner City Transitional Home for Substance Abuse. ProQuest Dissertion and Theses;1998;ProQuest Nursing and Allied Health Sources pg.n/a. George, T. B. (1998). Meaning, Expression and Experiences of Care of Chronically Mentally Ill in a Day Treatment Center using Leininger’s Cultural Care Theory. ProQuest Dissertion and Theses;1998;ProQest Nursing & Allied Health Sources pg.n/a. Leininger, M. M. (2002b). Culture care assessments for congruent competency practice. In M. Leininger & M. McFarland (Eds.), Transcultural nursing: Concepts, theories, research, and practice (3rd ed.pp. 117–143). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies.
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