Nurses know that cultural competence is an attribute that grows over the course of our careers and over the course of our lives. Whether it is a skill or a certain ease – it grows incrementally through interactions with the people we come in contact with in our work place and in our communities.
Like a garden, our cultural sensitivity and our cultural competence needs to be tended and nurtured or it may wither or become stunted.
One of the best ways I’ve found to grow our cultural sensitivity is through reading – reading fiction, memoir, or non-fiction that deals with diverse populations and social issues.
Just this week I started You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie. The book is poignant, sweet, funny, heart-breaking. Then just yesterday a wonder school nurse colleague recommended two books she had just read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely.
Add these books to some of the books Our Kids and When the Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down that NASN leaders have shared in reading groups in the past, and we have a great multicultural reading list for book-loving #schoolnurses.