Cultural competence and evidence-based practice in mental health services

Geopolitical Community

According to Maurer and Smith (2013), a geopolitical community is a civilization with intricate physical and jurisdictional boundaries, such as rural municipalities and city communities, that depict its perimeter. Natural barriers, such as physical formations that isolate groups of persons, or man-made limits, such as towns, centers, and schools, surround a geopolitical community. I live in Queens, New York City's largest borough.

Geographical Features of Queens

Queens is bordered by Brooklyn to the south and Nassau County to the east, and it shares water boundaries with Manhattan and the Bronx. Of all the five boroughs in New York, Queens has the second largest population and the second most populous county. Having the most diversified economy in New York, Queens is a highly geopolitical county Harboring not only JFK International Airport but also LaGuardia Airport. The two airports are some of the busiest airports in the world. Also, Queens has a diverse housing such as high-rise apartments in the western parts of the city and suburban in the eastern side of the borough.

Phenomenological Community

In a phenomenological community, relationships and family ties bring people together rather than the physical or human-made boundaries (Maurer & Smith, 2013). People living in a phenomenological community often share various things in common including beliefs, culture, and customs. Additionally, distinct religious and social groups vividly define a phenomenological community. My religious belief, strong family bond, and the social relationships, therefore, portray Queens as a phenomenological community. Queens is a highly diversified borough consisting of Blacks, Americans, and Asians, among others, but people still afford to pray, eat and play together. Also, the people of Queens Community have a clear support system whereby people come together to help one another in times of need. Moreover, people always come together to celebrate special occasions like music. For instance, Queens established African-American culture and frequently hosts an array of museums and cultural organizations that serve the diverse communities and brings people together.

Challenges Faced by Community Health Care Nurses

Maurer & Smith (2013) affirm that cultural diversity is the major challenge that community health care nurses often face in their quest to provide care for different communities. However, the community health nurses derive a lot of benefits as they develop the ability to bring new ideas and tolerate various difficulties ranging from one community to another. Also, similar communities create a different challenge whereby the nurses may make decisions based on the assumption regarding one community that they initially visited rather than depending on useful facts regarding about the community. It is important to access each community independently instead of assuming that similar communities have the same health needs because they have the same ethnicity. Nevertheless, the similarity enables health nurses to understand a community and its culture better.

Cultural Diversity and Language Barrier

For the same community, community health nurses face a serious problem whereby the patients may conceal important health information. The nurses may be familiar to some individuals or families thus affecting their willingness to disclose personal information. But the benefit of delivering care in the same community is greater since the community nurses have basic information regarding the society, their likes, the people living in it, and their problems. Moreover, the nurses have full information of how the people would respond and the common things that they would respond. The challenges are likely to enable nurses to reap from the cultural exchange as a result of attending to diverse patients, thus enhancing their flexibility.

Mitigating Language Barrier

Queens is one of the most diverse counties in New York community with a variety of ethnic groups including the Japanese, Koreans, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Indonesians, and Burmese among others. Addressing the cultural diversity to mitigate language barrier between the community health care nurses and members of the community is an essential consideration that needs adequate attention. To address the issue of cultural diversity, community health nurses should be willing to accept, acknowledge, and recognize the cultural as well as language differences. Additionally, hiring an interpreter to handle diverse patients facilitates efficient communication between the patients and the community health nurses. Moreover, employers can provide training facilities to community health nurses to escalate their cultural diversity and improve their knowledge of other languages (Whaley & Davis, 2007).


Maurer, F. A., & Smith, C. M. (2013). Community/public health nursing practice: Health for families and populations. St. Louis, Mo: Elsevier/Saunders.

Whaley, A. L., & Davis, K. E. (2007). Cultural competence and evidence-based practice in mental health services: a complementary perspective. American Psychologist, 62(6), 563.

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