Culture Case Study
A male nurse admits a 40-year-old woman, Mrs. V of Asian Indian descent, to the medical-surgical unit. The patient had sustained a head injury and was confused and somewhat disoriented. Her husband, who spoke some English but had a heavy Indian accent, accompanied her. While the patient was very quiet, the husband, who answered all questions addressed to his wife, seemed very anxious and annoyed. The nurse attempted to reassure Mr. V that everything was going to be okay. Nevertheless, he insisted on seeing a doctor right away and stated, “I don’t want to keep speaking to a nurse, I need to speak with the doctor.” The admitting nurse explained to the patient that the doctor would be in as soon as possible, but in the meantime decided to conduct a cultural assessment. During the assessment the nurse learned that the husband was a recent immigrant to the United States from India and was not used to, and therefore uncomfortable with, the idea of his wife having a male nurse. The nurse later explained
to the patient and her husband that he would remain the nurse primarily in charge of the patient’s care, but that he would have a female assistant nurse provide her personal care. Mr. V was satisfied with this arrangement, but with the staff’s permission, remained at the bedside throughout her hospitalization.
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