Cultural competence has been reported as a means of impacting health disparities in minority populations. The Hispanic population has grown exponentially in the United States accounting for over fifty million people on the latest census report. Continued immigration by persons of Hispanic origin occurs for many reasons offering a challenge to nurses and other healthcare workers to provide culturally competent care. The majority of research on cultural competence and the immigrant Hispanic patient has been conducted from the viewpoint of the healthcare provider. Additionally, most research that has taken into account the perspective of the immigrant Hispanic patient focuses on a single aspect of cultural competence rather than cultural competence as a whole. A phenomenological study using semi-structured interviews was conducted and included twelve immigrant Hispanic patients. Questions were aimed at eliciting information regarding the cultural competence of healthcare encounters. Data were analyzed according to van Manen's four existential themes of lived body, lived time, lived space, and human relations and according to characteristics of cultural competence as defined in the literature. Results indicated that cultural competence is lacking in healthcare encounters despite the emphasis placed on it by federal and state mandates.

Date of publication

Spring 4-27-2012

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Nursing Commons