As the development of technology and the myriads of environment have impacted migration shifting from nation to nation, continuing the expansion of ethnic and culture diversity globally. It is acknowledged that cultural shock, cultural conflict and cultural clash are inevitable when people from diverse cultures encounter one another (Ref). Additionally, culture influence the norms of society and individuals behaviors in which the interaction and communication is delivered in human society. In health care settings, health professionals often care for patients from various cultural backgrounds. Thus, providing quality and equality person-centre care to cater for individual’s cultural beliefs, preferences, values and needs is a critical part in contemporary nursing practice. One of the largest immigrant populations in Australia is from China. There has been a rapid growth in the number of Chinese immigrant in these decades (Australia Bureau of Statistics?ABS?, 2017). As a result, nurses are more likely to serve Chinese patient. Therefore, being cultural competent is an indispensable capacity for nurses to understand and to provide appropriate care among culturally and linguistically diverse individuals. This essay identifies and analyses the similarity and the differences between traditional Chinese culture, as an ethnicity I identify myself with, and Australian culture in relation to pediatric care, mental health literacy, health beliefs, particularly on food and perception of illness, different languages and religions with evidence based literature to support and illustrate my view. The description of issues and development of strategies to reduce the cultural gap will be explored regarding to each culture discrepancy.
In research on Chinese and Australian health care practice, particularly in medical decision making, a distinction is often made between family-oriented and individualized care. The basic difference is that Chinese society regards relationship, family and kinship networks as an essential concept, while Australian people emphasis on the right of autonomy of individuals. Chinese families play a typical role in not only navigating health care service, meeting needs but also making medical decisions as an advocate for the patient (Lui, Ip, ; Chui, 2009). However, in Australia, people tend to respect individual’s autonomy and discourage interfere toward people’s decision-making (Grootens-Wiegers, Hein, van den Broek, ; de Vries, 2017; Katz ; Webb, 2016; Parsapoor, Parsapoor, Rezaei, ; Asghari, 2014). Family-oriented care may contribute to the issue of Chinese pediatric patients’ participating in medical decision-making. Due to One-child policy, many Chinese parents deeply cherish their only child and fear any harm to their child (Cameron, Erkal, Gangadharan, & Meng, 2013). They often govern the care of their child without obtaining the consent of the child as they desire to give the best to them. As a spokesman of their child, Chinese parent expect health professional to accept their domination of the care. However, a dilemma can occur if there is a disagreement among child, parent and health practitioners. For instance, a 16 year-old patient who has been diagnosed an acute appendicitis need immediate operation but the father of the patient insists on non-surgical treatment. To address this ethical situation, it is recommended to seek help from child psychiatrists and psychologists to assess the decision-making capacities of a child and, more importantly, the clinical practice of the legal competence (Katz & Webb, 2016; Parsapoor et al., 2014). In Australian, it is recognized that a patient younger than 16 is fully capable to give valid consent once had been approved from two qualified physicians (Parsapoor et al., 2014). Moreover, informing doctor and documented the situation accurately are essential to remain a safe nursing practice. Despite the child’s right of autonomy should not be ignored, nurses should also respect the Chinese culture of family-oriented. This is encouraging friendly environment for supporting shared decision making in diagnostic and treatment decisions, involving parent’s, child’s and medical team’s consideration to meet the best interest for the child in order to prevent the child from serious harm, pain and death.