Hinduism is a very complex religion. There are so many avenues that a Hindu individual may focus on during their life’s journey. Yet, regardless of the path chosen, the choices are simple. Making good, moral choices will take the individual closer to fulfilling their life’s purpose and poor choices will give them the opportunity to come around again and find a better path. When we started our research into Hinduism, I had no idea what to expect. In the limited exposure I have had so far, I find it very interesting. As a nurse, having very limited exposure to Hindu individuals, I would approach them with a great deal of curiosity, seeking to understand them further.
We did some research this week on the Latter-Day Saint religion and culture. Sometimes we assume that the cultural norm in our lives is understood by everyone. I found it interesting what information was new to some individuals regarding the Latter-Day Saints. It was a reminder to never make assumptions regarding anything. Even though the Latter-Day Saints are the predominant religion in my area they are not entirely understood by everyone.
During the last week we have been discussing cultural diversity in general and specific to health care. We watched The Good Lie with Reese Witherspoon. Watching The Good Lie took me back to the time I spent in Toronto, Canada. We interacted with people from all over the world and experienced a wide range of cultures. Living in Utah for the last twenty years has washed away many of the lessons gained from my time in Toronto. As I watched The Good Lie I was reflecting on how Americans were portrayed interacting with these refugees from Sudan. It is very easy to get so caught up in our own lives that we don’t stop to interact with those we encounter as individuals. We tend to treat people as objects in our lives that need to be dealt with and not as individuals that we interact with. Less than 24 hours before these Sudanese refugees found themselves in Kansas City, they lived on the planes of Africa. During their lives they had encountered lions, civil war, murder and death. Now they were in the United States, dropped off in an apartment and expected to know what every item was and how to go about using it. It was a very accurate depiction of cultural in-sensitivity.
Over the next several months we will be focused on Hinduism. As I begin the process of understanding Hinduism, what can I learn that will demonstrate cultural sensitivity to any Hindu I may interact with? Is it a basic understanding of their philosophy? Some basic words or phrases that illustrate I have been exposed to Hinduism? Is it enough to just be open minded and wait for an interaction to occur? I believe that the more I learn about Hinduism prior to interacting with anyone, the more in depth my interactions will be.
My name is Charlee Smartt. I am enrolled at Utah Valley University pursuing my Bachelors degree in Nursing. I am currently a Registered Nurse working on a Medical Surgical floor. I began this blog a year ago while I was studying Cultural Diversity in Nursing. Since that time the influence of some of the worlds cultures have been introduced into my life. My wife and I have four children. Our oldest son has been in Peru for the last year. He loves the culture and the Peruvian people. Our second son leaves for Berlin Germany in a couple of months. He will be exposed to a wide variety of cultures while in Germany as they have taken in a large number of refugees from around the world.
I am changing the focus of my posts for the next several months as I focus on a deeper understanding of Quality and Safety in Nursing. I hope to be able to broaden my perspective, refine my actions, and better understand deeper issues surrounding Quality and Safety in Nursing.