Research studies have indicated many benefits of providing culturally competent care. Campinha-Bacote and Munoz11 state that a direct relationship exists between culture and health and that of the many variables known to influence health beliefs and practices, culture is the most influential. In addition, patients who are less dissatisfied with their care are less likely to discontinue their treatment, particularly if their cultural beliefs are taken into account.22 Although cultural traditions and practices vary greatly among and within the approximately 500 different American Indian tribes, some similarities do exist.

In this article, I provide nurses who work with American Indian clients in critical care situations information needed to facilitate administration of culturally competent care. The focus of the article is similarities among the different tribes.

The terms American Indian, Native American, and Alaska Native refer...

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