Paper Example. Nursing: Culture and Cultural Safety

Published: 2023-11-19
Paper Example. Nursing: Culture and Cultural Safety
Essay type:  Argumentative essays
Categories:  Culture Biology Nursing Medicine
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 559 words
5 min read

The basis of culture is an issue that has continued to elicit debate from all corners of human society. Biology is one of the aspects of human existence that has been discussed as a possible basis for culture. However, this study would like to disapprove such a line of thinking. Biology is not the basis of culture because culture represents differences in ideologies and mode of thinking rather than physical aspects of the human body.

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Biology in this discussion talks about the physical aspects of the human body while culture alludes to the ideological aspects. Walter Tailor defined culture as a mental phenomenon that consists of contents of mind not of material objects or observable behaviour (Johnson, 2013). Based on Tailor’s definition, the material objects, which are the biological elements, have nothing to do with culture. Culture is not something which biological processes and behaviours can be attributed; it is a context within which such aspects can be described.

Arguing for biology as the basis of culture is the same as saying communities have certain beliefs and practices because of the biological makeup of individual beings. Culture is a matter of ideologies. For example, specific communities may hold the ideology that having more than one sexual partner is wrong, while the other community might hold the belief that having multiple sexual partners is not wrong. The difference between these groups of people is the ideology that they hold. There is no causation or correlation between their biology and their culture. As a result, the basis of culture cannot be attributed to biology.

Cultural safety is built on acceptance and mutual respect for one another. According to Williams (1999), cultural safety is about creating an environment where there is no assault challenge, denial of identity, of who the people are, and what they need. The health practitioners need to be culturally sensitive in their delivery of health services. The concept is all about shared respect, where the practitioners research, and use culturally safe practices. Any procedure that demeans, or disempower, the cultural identity of someone else is considered a culturally unsafe practice.

Cultural safety does not require people to focus on someone’s culture other than their own. Based on the insights by Williams (1999), cultural safety requires that a people examine their own attitudes, identities and have an open mind towards people from cultures other than the ones from which one comes. It is about recognizing the things that make other people different. It can be simple things such as their English being less fluent or their way of doing things being different from the majority of the population. It requires developing trust with the patient and having a mutual understanding.

The role of culture in healthcare is very significant. Medical practitioners have a responsibility to acknowledge and respecting the cultural differences between themselves and their patients. The same applies to the cultural differences between the patients themselves. That will ensure that the patients receive cultural safety. The increasingly multicultural society will warrant cultural safety in all fields, including healthcare.


Johnson, M. T. (2013). What Is Culture? What Does It Do? What Should It Do?. In Evaluating Culture (pp. 97-119). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Williams, R. (1999). Cultural safety—what does it mean for our work practice?. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, 23(2), 213-214.

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