BACKGROUND: Nurses are primary caregivers and have a key role in providing care in a culturally diverse healthcare system, such as in
South Africa (SA). Nurses need cultural competence in the management of patients within this cultural context. A healthcare system
staffed by a culturally competent workforce can provide high-quality care to diverse population groups, contributing to the elimination
of health disparities.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the self-rated levels of cultural competence of nurses working in critical care settings in a selected public
hospital in SA.
METHODS: A quantitative descriptive survey was conducted with nurses from eight critical care units in a selected public hospital in
KwaZulu-Natal, using the Inventory to Access the Process of Cultural Competency - Revised (IAPCC-R) cultural competence questionnaire.
RESULTS: Nearly three quarters of the critical care nurses scored highest in the cultural awareness range of the cultural competence scale,
with nurses from non-English-speaking backgrounds scoring significantly higher in cultural competence than English-speaking nurses.
CONCLUSION: In addressing the many faces of cultural diversity, healthcare professionals must realise that these faces share a common
vision: to obtain quality healthcare services that are culturally responsive and culturally relevant to the specific cultural group.