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Madeleine Leininger’s Transcultural Nursing Theory Critique

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Critique of Madeleine Leininger’s Transcultural Nursing Theory
Introduction
This paper is an analysis and critique of a published nursing philosophy
and theory by the nurse theorist Madeleine Leininger. The analysis is based on
Leininger's publications about her theory starting in the mid-1950's with her major
contribution stemming from her second book, Transcultural Nursing: Concepts,
Theories, Research, and Practice in 1978. The model utilizes a two-step process to
evaluate theories called theory description and critical reflection. Theory
description consists of purpose, concepts, definitions, relationships, structure, and
assumptions. Critical reflection analyzes the purpose of the theory utilizing a
series of questions. This model will be used to critique one of the oldest theories
in nursing.
Purpose
Transcultural Nursing Theory discovers and explains the culturally based
care factors that influence health, well-being, illness, and death of each individual
or community. The purpose and goal of the transcultural nursing theory is to
provide culturally congruent, safe, and meaningful care to clients of diverse or
similar cultures. Leininger has established a theory that studies cultures to
understand their differences and similarities. Cultural competence is important
within the nursing profession due to the differences in each individual's
perception of illness and wellness. An individual's health beliefs and practices are
linked by his/her culture. Each individual or community should be treated
differently from the rest and that personal uniqueness should always be
considered. This belief stems from Leininger's personal belief in "God's creative
and caring ways."
Concepts & Definitions
Transcultural theory uses the concepts of culture, race, and ethnicity to
understand human behavior. "Culture influences all spheres of human life. It
defines health, illness, and the search for relief from disease or distress.” Culture
is defined as a set of beliefs, values, and assumptions about life that are widely
held among a group of people and that are transmitted across generations. All
cultures are not alike, and all individuals within a culture are not alike. Each
person should be viewed as a unique human being with differences that are
respected. Individuals may be of the same race, but of different cultures. Race is
defined as a social classification that relies on physical markers such as skin color
to identify group membership. Many nurses overlook cultural differences of
individuals due to their similar racial characteristics. Race is considered one of the

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identifying characteristics of a culture, and this identifying characteristic
represents an ethnicity. Ethnicity is defined as a cultural membership that is based
on individuals sharing similar cultural patterns that, over time, create a common
history that is resistant to change.
Cultural competence is an important factor in nursing. Culturally
competent care is provided not only to individuals of racial or ethnic minority
groups, but also to groups that vary by age, religion, socioeconomic status or
sexual orientation. Cultural competence is defined as a combination of culturally
congruent behaviors, practice attitudes, and policies that allow nurses to work
effectively in cross cultural situations. Religious and cultural knowledge is
important in the healthcare profession. It is also important that health care
professionals assess their own beliefs and ask themselves how those beliefs may
affect the care given to clients. The awareness of your own beliefs is called,
cultural awareness, and is defined as self-awareness of one's own cultural
background, biases, and differences. Not only must nurses be aware of their own
beliefs, but also must be willing to learn and understand an individual's beliefs.
Relationships & Structure
The relationship and structure between the concepts in the culture care
theory is presented in Leininger's sunrise model. This model is viewed as rising
sun and should be utilized as an available tool for nurses to use when conducting
cultural assessments. This model provides a systematic way to identify the beliefs,
values, meanings, and behaviors of people. The dimensions of the model include
technological, religious, philosophic, kinship, social, values and lifeway, political,
legal, economic, and educational factors. These factors influence the environment
and language, which affects the overall health of the individual. Individuals who
may not feel understood may delay seeking care or may withhold key
information. Environment and language affect the overall health system which
consists of the folk and professional health system. The folk health system
consists of the traditional beliefs, while the professional health system consists of
our learned knowledge such as organized school and evidenced-based practice.
This model helps each nurse avoid stereotyping an individual into a culture based
on the minimal factors of race or ethnicity.
The last dimension of the model helps nurses establish culturally congruent care
through the utilization of three concepts: culture care preservation/maintenance,
culture care accommodation/negotiation, or culture care
repatterning/restructuring. Cultural preservation means that the nurse supports and
facilitates cultural interventions. Cultural interventions may include the use of
acupuncture or acupressure for relief before utilizing standard
practices/interventions. All of these factors and concepts guide the nurse towards
their ultimate goal of providing culturally competent care. These factors and goals
allow the nurse to fulfill the individual's need of having holistic and
comprehensive culturally based care.

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Critique of Madeleine Leininger’s Transcultural Nursing Theory Introduction This paper is an analysis and critique of a published nursing philosophy and theory by the nurse theorist Madeleine Leininger. The analysis is based on Leininger's publications about her theory starting in the mid-1950's with her major contribution stemming from her second book, Transcultural Nursing: Concepts, Theories, Research, and Practice in 1978. The model utilizes a two-step process to evaluate theories called theory description and critical reflection. Theory description consists of purpose, concepts, definitions, relationships, structure, and assumptions. Critical reflection analyzes the purpose of the theory utilizing a series of questions. This model will be used to critique one of the oldest theories in nursing. Purpose Transcultural Nursing Theory discovers and explains the culturally based care ...
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