At the time of this project, I was the nures educator on a 36-bed Women's Health unit. As we were entering the Christmas holiday season, i began to think about all of the patients we care for from other (diverse) backgrounds. I realized that, like me, the staff was not attending to the different cultures, customs, and holidays of the diversity of our patients. I decided that we needed to have written materials available for the staff to ensure that they were aware of customs and holidays of other cultures.
I enlisted the help of a friend, a nurse educator from the University of Washington, Seattle, who had developed an extensive reference outlining the various cultural customs and holidays. The cultures that reflected our patient population included:
Muslim (Middle Eastern and African)
The written materials were posted around the unit to provide staff with a quick and readily available resource. In addition, the written material was put in a notebook and placed with the rest of our staff reference material.
Because of this work, ethnic diversity has become an annual focus on the Women's Health unit.