Cultural competency in critical care is providing care to patients and their families that is compatible with their values and the traditions of their faiths. This requires awareness of one’s own values and those of the healthcare system. The nurse must also become aware of the cultural and spiritual values of patients and families. Although knowledge of many cultures is impossible, willingness to learn about, respect, and work with persons from different backgrounds is critical to providing culturally competent care. This article discusses elements essential for increasing cultural competency.

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