Cultural competence in culturally mixed teams

3. Professional understanding

Both Zara and Svenja have been educated to become a nurse according to the European Union (EU's) Directive on Harmonisation of Nurse Education. This Directive lays down minimum criteria for nurse education which are binding for all European Union (EU) member states. (Across Europe, many countries outside of the European Union have also adopted this directive).

The criteria relate to formal aspects of the courses, such as minimum hours in theoretical and clinical teaching and learning. The criteria also prescribe competences and skills for nurses as well as professional objectives.

However, despite this, we find differences in European nurses' professional understanding, their perception of professional action and of the scope of nursing.

This is partly due to different health care systems in our countries, which might allocate tasks and responsibilities to different professions, depending on how and from where the funding comes, or just how things have traditionally been done.

But it can also be down to different cultural values, habits and rules, which can lead to different interpretations of situations and to different expectations on the part of the patients as well as the nurses.

Click on the next button to stop the slide show and access the next section to review your own professional understanding.