The nurse is caring for a client for whom English is a second or other language and who is very reluctant to disclose personal information. Which statement reflects an understanding of culturally or socially competent care for this specific client?

  1. Making direct eye contact with the client may be viewed as disrespectful.
  2. Care and activities should be scheduled around designated prayer times whenever possible.
  3. The patient may be undocumented, fearful of disclosing his or her status, and therefore cautious in institutional settings.
  4. The patient may not be well educated.
Number 3 is correct.
Rationale: Options 1 and 2 reflect the beliefs of people of many backgrounds and should be considered when caring for clients of different cultures and religions. Option 4 may be true of any patient regardless of background; furthermore, level of education has no bearing on the ability to provide basic personal information, and well-educated patients may still have limited English language skills. However, option 3 reveals sensitivity about the complex life circumstances of a client. Depending on the setting in which the nurse is working, social workers or other liaisons may be available and appropriate for consultation in caring for clients of varying backgrounds.