What Is A Culture In Medical Terms


1.the proliferation of microorganisms or live tissue cells in particular media that are favourable to their development. 2.to cause such a propagation to occur. This product is the result of such propagation. When a particular group of people’s common values, beliefs, and behaviors are carried from one generation to the next and are discovered as patterns, they are said to be “collective unconscious.” adjcul’tural.cell culture adjcul’tural.cell culture a method of maintaining or growing animal cells in vitro, or an in vitro culture of animal cells a culture of blood A blood sample is subjected to a microbiologic test in order to determine the presence of bacteria.

constant flow of information bacterial culture with a continual flow of new media in order to keep bacterial growth in the logarithmic phase culture of enrichment one that has been produced on a medium, generally liquid, that has been added in order to promote the growth of a certain type of organism Culture of the hanging-drop The material to be cultured is infected into a drop of fluid attached to a coverglass that is inverted over a hollow slide in order to initiate the culture process.

main culture (informal) a cell or tissue culture created by transferring cells or tissues directly from a natural source to an artificial media culture that is selective The development of a single species of microbe on a media, generally solid, that has been provided with nutrients to promote the growth of the organism Substances that impede the development of other species may also be included in this category.

reshape the culture Inoculating warm liquid agar culture media into a tube and stirring to disperse the contents equally is how agar culture is created.

  1. culture on a tilt produced on the top of solidified medium in a tube that has been slanted in order to offer a higher surface area for growth The syndromes of a culture are ailments that are distinctive to a certain culture or geographical place.
  2. For example, anorexia nervosa and the Type A behavioral pattern are both disorders that are particular to industrialized civilizations.
  3. The inoculation of a solid media is accomplished by dragging over the surface of the solid medium in a zig-zag form, with a wire inoculating loop containing the inoculum carried by the wire.
  4. Tissue culture is the process of preserving or developing tissue, organ primordia, or the entire or a portion of an organ in vitro in order to retain its architecture and function.
  5. A type culture is a culture of a species of microbe that is kept in a collection of type cultures that is managed centrally.

Originally published in 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc., the Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health is the seventh edition. All intellectual property rights are retained.


1.The growth and reproduction of microbes on or in a variety of different types of media. 2.A swarm of microorganisms on or in a surface or liquid medium Cell culture is the process of reproducing mammalian cells in a controlled environment. In a community or nation’s collective consciousness are a collection of beliefs, values, artistic, historical, and religious qualities, and practices that are shared by everyone. In partnership with Farlex, the Medical Dictionary has been developed.


(kŭl′chər)n.Biologya. The cultivation of bacteria, tissue cells, or other living materials in a nutritional media that has been carefully prepared. b.A bacterial growth or colony of the type described above. tr.v.cul·tured,cul·turing,cul·turesa. Growing (microorganisms or other living stuff) in a nutritional media that has been carefully prepared. Use (a substance) as a medium for culture: culture milk is an example of this. The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary is an excellent resource. Houghton Mifflin Company has copyright protection for the years 2007 and 2004.

All intellectual property rights are retained.


Agriculture The increase in the amount of edibles. Microbiology is a term used to describe bacteria. A culture-related term (for example, cultural plate). noun General word for the controlled development of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses) in/on growth media, or for the specimen thus cultured, and the medium (e.g. agar, broth) in which it is being cultivated under controlled circumstances. verb In order to maximize the proliferation of pathogenic microorganisms in a specimen, it is necessary to place it in a growth medium under circumstances designed to maximize the proliferation of those pathogens.

  • Cellular proliferation is the expansion of cells.
  • Social medicine is a term that refers to the practice of medicine in society as a whole.
  • The will of the people The training, growth, and refinement of the mind, tastes, and manners; the state of being educated and refined in this manner; the intellectual side of civilisation Segen’s Medical Dictionary is a medical dictionary published by Segen’s Medical Dictionary.
  • is a trademark of Farlex, Inc.

HIV test

In order to identify HIV and the generation of antibodies against it, a variety of tests have been developed; some of the tests described below are no longer in use, but are included for completeness and context. See also HIV and Immunoblot. HIV testing are performed. Culture The direct cultivation of HIV in the appropriate cell–human lymphocytes–has been shown to be effective. Assay for IgA An immunoblot-type technique that enables for the detection of prenatal HIV infection in newborns at an early stage.

HIV’s p24 antigen is measured by immunoassay and confirmed by neutralization; the sensitivity of this test is quite poor.

Testing for RNA An example of this is a Western blot.

The Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine, published by McGraw-Hill. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. published a book in 2002 called


1.The growth and reproduction of microorganisms on or in a variety of mediums. 2.A swarm of microorganisms on or in a surface or liquid medium 3.The practice of propagating mammalian cells, often known as cell culture. Cell culture is another term for this. 4.A collection of ideas, values, artistic, historical, and religious traits that are shared by a group or nation; traditions that are unique to that community or nation. Synonym(s):cultivation. Farlex 2012 Medical Dictionary for Health-Care Professionals and Nursing


For more information, see BACTERIAL CULTURE and TISSUE CULTURE in the Collins Dictionary of Medicine (Robert M. Youngson, 2004).


Laboratory method in which a sample from an infected person’s wound or blood or other bodily fluid is obtained and tested for the presence of an infection. The sample is put in an environment where bacteria may grow and flourish. Identifying the bacteria that is causing the infection is done if bacteria grows and identification tests are performed. Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine is a resource for medical information. The Gale Group, Inc. retains ownership of the copyright and reserves all rights.


It is the practice of propagating microorganisms on or in any medium. Farlex 2012 is a Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions that was published in 2012.

How Cultures Are Used to Diagnose a Multitude of Ailments

A culture is a technique that is used to identify the organisms that are suspected of causing a disease. It is necessary to culture infectious bacteria from urine, feces, genital tract, throat, and skin samples in order to identify them. Culture tests are performed in dermatology to evaluate whether or not an infection has caused a rash, as well as which organism is responsible for the illness. Sean Gallup is a Getty Images contributor.

What Is a Culture?

As a result of a culture test, the doctor may make a more accurate diagnosis and prescribe medicine that is more effective in treating the illness. A culture is made up of the following elements:

  • A container is anything that holds something else. Petri plates and test tubes are examples of common containers, as is culture medium. This is the “goo” in which the creatures develop and reproduce. It is estimated that there are more than 100 distinct types of culture media available, each designed to give the best environment for a certain organism to thrive. These range from salt, sugar, minerals, and agar, a gelling agent used to form solid cultures
  • A representative sampling. A culture must contain a sample of tissue or fluid that has been suspected of being contaminated
  • And

An order for a culture must be specific in nature, since the sort of organism suspected must be specified. This is sometimes straightforward: a bacterial culture on an abscessor, or a viral culture on a vaginal ulcer that appears to be herpes simplex. For rashes that are uncommon in appearance, doctors may request many different types of cultures, such as a tissue culture and a fungal culture, to determine the type of organism responsible for the rash. If the organism is identified via the culture, the organism may be subjected to a variety of drugs to see which ones are the most effective.

Types of Cultures

Solid cultures, liquid cultures, and cell cultures are the three types of cultures.

  • Culture that is second to none. On agar, which is generated from algae, bacteria and fungus grow on a surface that is rich in nutrients, salts, and other nutrients and minerals. Solid cultures are extremely valuable since they can be grown from a single microbe to produce a full colony consisting of hundreds of cells, which is why they are so effective. Microbiologists can make an accurate diagnosis by observing the differences in the appearance of different organisms’ colors, shapes, sizes, and growth rates
  • Liquid culture. A liquid culture is a type of culture that grows in a liquid solution of nutrients. The greater the number of organisms present in the culture, the more quickly the liquid becomes hazy and foggy becomes. Because there are typically multiple distinct types of organisms present in liquid cultures, it is difficult to identify a single one. Solid cultures, on the other hand, may be used to identify a specific organism. They are most typically used to diagnose parasite illnesses
  • Cell culture is one of the most used methods. To infect the cell culture with the organisms present, human and animal cells are employed in conjunction with the cell culture. The diagnosis is made based on the way the cells have been altered. Due to the greater complexity of cell culture tests compared to solid and liquid cultures, they are only utilized as a supplementary approach.
You might be interested:  By The 1920s, What Was The Most Powerful Influence Medium Of Culture In The US

Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Thank you for taking the time to join up. There was a clerical error. Please try your search again.

Verywell Health relies on only high-quality sources, such as peer-reviewed research, to substantiate the information contained in its articles. Read about oureditorial process to discover more about how we fact-check our information and ensure that it is accurate, dependable, and trustworthy.

  • In Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 31st edition, Philadelphia: Saunders, 2007
  • In Stedman’s Medical Dictionary, 28th edition, Baltimore: Lippincott WilliamsWilkins, 2006, 469
  • In Dorland’s Medical Dictionary, 31st edition, Philadelphia: Saunders, 2007.

Bacteria Culture Test: MedlinePlus Medical Test

Bacteria are a huge category of one-celled creatures that are found all over the world. They can reside in a variety of locations throughout the body. Others bacteria are completely innocuous, and some are even useful. Others have the potential to spread illnesses and sickness. A bacteria culture test can assist you in identifying potentially hazardous microorganisms in your body. The bacteria culture test will require a sample of your blood, urine, skin, or another part of your body to be taken.

To boost cell development, the cells in your sample will be transported to a laboratory and placed in a particular environment designed specifically for cell growth.

However, certain bacteria grow slowly, and it may take several days or more for them to mature.

What is it used for?

When it comes to diagnosing specific sorts of diseases, bacteria culture tests are utilized to aid in the process. The most frequent types of bacteria tests, as well as the applications for which they are used, are described below. Culture of the Throat

  • It is used to diagnose or rule out strep throat. The method is as follows:
  • It is necessary for your health-care professional to put an instrument into your mouth to collect samples from the back of your throat and tonsils
  • This is called a swab biopsy.

Urine Culture is a type of culture that is found in urine.

  • Aurinary tract infection and the bacteria that caused it are diagnosed with this test. The test process is as follows:
  • It is your responsibility to give a sterile sample of urine in a cup as directed by your health-care practitioner.

Sputum Culture is a kind of culture that is obtained from a person’s sputum. Sputum is a viscous mucus that comes up from the lungs when you cough. It differs from spit or saliva in several ways.

  • Applied to aid in the diagnosis of bacterial illnesses in the respiratory system. Pneumonia and bronchitis are examples of bacterial infections. The following is the method to be followed during the test:
  • As directed by your healthcare practitioner, you may be requested to cough up sputum into a specific cup, or a specially designed swab may be used to collect a sample from your nose.

Culture of the Blood

  • An instrument that is used to identify the presence of germs or fungus in the blood
  • The following is the method to be followed during the test:
  • A blood sample will be required by a health-care provider. It is most typically necessary to draw the sample from a vein in your arm.

Stool Culture is a way of life. Stool is also referred to as feces in some circles.

  • This test is used to detect illnesses in the digestive tract caused by bacteria or parasites. Food poisoning and other digestive diseases are examples of this. The following is the method to be followed during the test:
  • Your health care professional will teach you on how to collect a sample of your feces in a clean container.

Wound Healing and Culture

  • It is used to identify infections in open wounds or burn injuries. The test technique is as follows:
  • Your health-care practitioner will collect a sample from the location of your wound using a specific swab
  • This sample will be sent to the laboratory for testing.

Why do I need a bacteria culture test?

If you are experiencing signs of an abacterial infection, your health care practitioner may recommend a bacteria culture test. The signs and symptoms differ based on the type of illness present.

Why do I have to wait so long for my results?

Unfortunately, your test sample does not contain enough cells to allow your health-care professional to diagnose an infection. As a result, your sample will be submitted to a laboratory in order for the cells to develop. If there is an infection, the contaminated cells will grow and spread throughout the body. Most disease-causing bacteria will develop to the point where they can be seen within one to two days, but certain species can take up to five days or longer to reach this stage.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

Bacterial culture assays are available in a variety of configurations. Inquire with your health-care provider whether there is anything you need do to prepare for your test.

Are there any risks to the test?

There are no known hazards associated with submitting a swab or blood sample, as well as delivering a urine or stool specimen.

What do the results mean?

If you have a bacterial infection and enough germs are identified in your sample, you are most certainly suffering from one. Additional tests may be ordered by your health-care provider to confirm a diagnosis or to evaluate the severity of the illness you have. It is also possible that your provider will request a “susceptibility test” on your sample. It is necessary to do a susceptibility test in order to decide which antibiotic will be the most efficient in treating your infection.

If you have any questions about your results, you should speak with your health-care provider about them. Understand laboratory testing, reference ranges, and how to interpret data in more detail.

Is there anything else I should know about a bacteria culture?

It is not necessary to take antibiotics if your tests reveal that you do not have a bacterial illness. Antibiotics are only effective in treating bacterial illnesses. Not only may taking antibiotics when you don’t need them hurt your health, but it may also contribute to a major problem known as antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance is the ability of hazardous bacteria to adapt in such a manner that antibiotics become less effective or ineffective altogether. This can be harmful to you as well as to the rest of the community since this bacterium has the potential to spread to others.


  1. FDA is an abbreviation for the United States Food and Drug Administration. Combating Antibiotic Resistance
  2. Is a publication of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and is available from:
  3. Lab Tests Online. From 2001 until 2017, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry was based in Washington, DC. It is possible to order Bacterial Sputum Culture: The Test
  4. From the following website: Lab Tests Online. From 2001 until 2017, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry was based in Washington, DC. Bacterial Sputum Culture: The Test Sample
  5. Is available from the following sources: Lab Tests Online. From 2001 until 2017, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry was based in Washington, DC. It is possible to obtain Bacterial Wound Culture: The Test
  6. From the following website: Lab Tests Online. From 2001 until 2017, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry was based in Washington, DC. It is possible to order Bacterial Wound Culture: The Test Sample from the following website: Lab Tests Online. From 2001 until 2017, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry was based in Washington, DC. Blood Culture: A Quick Overview
  7. . Available from: Lab Tests Online. From 2001 until 2017, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry was based in Washington, DC. Blood Culture: The Test
  8. Is available from the following sources: Lab Tests Online. From 2001 until 2017, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry was based in Washington, DC. It is possible to obtain a blood culture test sample from the website Lab Tests Online. The American Association for Clinical Chemistry was founded in 2001 and has been in operation since since. Available from: Lab Tests Online, a glossary on the term “culture.” From 2001 until 2017, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry was based in Washington, DC. Stool Culture: The Test
  9. Is available from the following website: Lab Tests Online From 2001 until 2017, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry was based in Washington, DC. Stool Culture: The Test Sample
  10. Is available from the following sources: Lab Tests Online. From 2001 until 2017, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry was based in Washington, DC. Available from:
  11. Lab Tests Online, an initiative of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, c2001–2017. Strep Throat Test: The Test Sample
  12. . It is possible to obtain Susceptibility Testing: The Test from the following sources: From 2001 until 2017, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry was based in Washington, DC. Urine Culture: The Test
  13. Is available from the following sources: Lab Tests Online. From 2001 until 2017, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry was based in Washington, DC. Urine Culture: The Test Sample
  14. Is available from the following sources: Lagier J, Edouard S, Pagnier I, Mediannikov O, Drancourt M, Raolt D. Urine Culture: The Test Sample
  15. Is available from the following sources: Strategies for Bacterial Culture in Clinical Biology: Current and Previous Approaches 2015 Jan 1
  16. 28(1): 208–236. Clin Microbiol Rev 2015 Jan 1
  17. 28(1): 208–236. Merck Manuals: Professional Version is available from the following sources: MerckCo., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, c2017. Culture
  18. . Available from:
  19. Merck Manuals: Professional Version. The National Academies: What You Need to Know About Infectious Diseases
  20. The National Academy of Sciences
  21. C2017. Overview of Bacteria
  22. National Cancer Institute. How Infection Works: Types of Microbes
  23. . Accessed from: University of Rochester Medical Center, Bethesda (MD), United States Department of Health and Human Services, National Cancer Institute Dictionary of Cancer Terms: Bacteria. In Rochester (New York), the University of Rochester Medical Center published a book in 2017. Obtainable from: contentid
  24. =P00961
  25. UW Health, the Microbiology section of the Health Encyclopedia The University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority published a book in Madison (WI) in 2019. It is possible to obtain health information on using antibiotics wisely by visiting the following website:

Blood Culture

A blood culture is a laboratory test that is used to determine if a blood sample contains bacteria or other pathogens.

Alternative Names

Blood culture is a type of culture.

How the Test is Performed

A blood sample will be required. The area where the blood will be extracted is cleansed with an antiseptic such as chlorhexidine before the procedure. In this way, the likelihood of an organism from the skin infiltrating (contaminating) the blood sample and resulting in a false-positive result is reduced (see below). The sample is taken and submitted to a laboratory for analysis. It is then put in a separate dish at the location (culture). Bacteria and other disease-causing organisms are then observed to see if they have multiplied.

You might be interested:  Which Became Part Of English Government And Culture During The Glorious Revolution

A gram stain is a method of detecting bacteria that makes use of a unique set of stains to accomplish this (colors).

As a result, a series of three or more blood cultures may be performed in order to enhance the likelihood of identifying the infection.

How to Prepare for the Test

There is no need to make any particular preparations.

How the Test will Feel

The needle is inserted to take blood from the patient, and some people experience significant pain. Others merely get a prick or stinging sensation. There may be some throbbing or a little bruising as a result of the procedure. This will pass in a short period of time.

Why the Test is Performed

If you are experiencing signs of a dangerous illness, often known as sepsis, your health care practitioner may recommend this test. High temperature, chills, fast breathing and heart rate, disorientation, and low blood pressure are all possible symptoms of sepsis, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The blood culture is used to determine the sort of bacteria that is causing the illness in the first place. This information assists your clinician in determining the most effective treatment for the illness.

Normal Results

When you get a normal number, it signifies that there were no bacteria or other germs found in your blood sample.

What Abnormal Results Mean

A positive (abnormal) result indicates that bacteria have been detected in your bloodstream. Bacteremia is the medical word for this condition. Sepsis is a condition that can manifest itself in this way. A medical emergency, sepsis requires immediate hospitalization, and you will be hospitalized as soon as possible. In addition to bacteria and viruses, other forms of germs, such as fungi and viruses, may be discovered in a blood culture. It is possible that contamination is the cause of an aberrant outcome.

This indicates that germs may have been discovered, but they originated from your skin or the lab equipment rather than from your blood. A false-positive result is what this is referred to as. It indicates that you are not suffering from a real infection.


Having your blood drawn carries just a little amount of danger. Variations in size between individuals, as well as between different parts of the body, are observed in veins and arteries. It is possible that drawing blood from certain persons will be more difficult than drawing blood from others. Several other dangers linked with having blood collected are minor, however they may include the following:

  • The sensation of fainting or lightheadedness
  • Several punctures to discover veins
  • Hematoma (blood that has accumulated beneath the skin)
  • Infection (which is a minor possibility whenever the skin is damaged)


Beavis KG, Charnot-Katsikas A, Charnot-Katsikas A. Collection and management of specimens for the diagnosis of infectious illnesses are important tasks. The authors, McPherson R.A. and Pincus M.R., edited the book Henry’s Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods (Henry’s). the 23rd edition, published by Elsevier in 2017:chap 64 Suffredini AF, Munford RS, Suffredini RS. Sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock are among conditions that can occur. Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds.

  • New York: Springer-Verlag.
  • The eighth edition, Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; chapter 75.
  • The doctor and the microbiological laboratory are two different entities.
  • Mannell, Douglas, and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, Updated Edition.
  • Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds.

Different use of medical terminology and culture-specific models of disease affecting communication between Xhosaspeaking patients and English-speaking doctors at a South African paediatric teaching hospital

An overview of the situation:Language and cultural gaps between patients and health care professionals may have negative repercussions for their health. The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town is a paediatric teaching hospital whose staff communicate mostly in English or Afrikaans, but many patients use Xhosa as their native language. It is one of the largest children’s hospitals in the world. To determine if discrepancies in the definitions of common respiratory medical language by patients and clinicians cause misunderstanding, as well as to investigate whether culture-specific models are utilized by parents in their definitions of common respiratory medical terminology.

  1. The total number of Xhosa-speaking patients is referred to as ‘Xhosa all,’ which includes both types of patients.
  2. It was necessary to discover the semantic qualities of each group in order to compress the definitions of the groups into representative ‘core definitions’, which was accomplished by contrastive linguistic analysis.
  3. Results:Parents had difficulties comprehending terminology used by physicians, and words that are often used were understood differently by these two groups of people.
  4. The quantity and range of meanings for terms that were in both groups’ vocabulary were significantly different, with several clinically significant discrepancies in definitions being obvious when they were in both groups’ lexicon.

Some frequent instances of respiratory issues in children are provided, with emphasis on those that affect children. The models of ingqele, xakaxa, and idliso, which are culture-specific explanatory models of respiratory disease, are illustrated.

Similar articles

  • In a South African district hospital, the consequences of a language barrier were examined. Schlemmer A, Mash B.Schlemmer A, et al.Schlemmer A, et al.Schlemmer A, et al. “It would be wonderful if they could provide us additional language,” says a doctor servicing South Africa’s multilingual patient population in S Afr Med J. 2006 Oct
  • 96(10):1084-7.S Afr Med J. 2006.PMID:17164941
  • 2010 Jul
  • 71(1):53-61. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.03.036. Epub 2010 Apr 20.Social Science and Medicine. 2010.PMID: 20452713
  • Soc Sci Med. 2010. Review, tutorial, and case studies of Korean youngsters who are fluent in English are all included in this study of Korean phonological characteristics. A review of the literature by Ha S, Johnson CJ, and Kuehn DP.Ha S, and colleagues Epub 2009 Jan 20. Journal of Communication Disorders, 2009 May-Jun
  • 42(3):163-79. doi: 10.1016/j.jcomdis.2009.01.002. PMID:19203766.J Commun Disord, 2009.PMID:19203766. Interpreter services in pediatric nursing are discussed in detail. Children’s Nurses Journal. 2005 Jul-Aug
  • 31(4):292-6. Lehna C, Lehna C, Pediatric Nurses Journal. 2005 Jul-Aug
  • 31(4):292-6. Pediatr Nurs. 2005
  • 16229125 (PubMed). Review

Cited by 10articles

  • In Indian emergency departments, there is a wide range of linguistic variety and communication difficulties. Douglass K, Narayan L, Allen R, Pandya J, Talib Z.Int J Emerg Med. 2021 Sep 22
  • 14(1):57. doi: 10.1186/s12245-021-00380-7.Int J Emerg Med. 2021.PMID:34551712.Douglas K, et al.Int J Emerg Med. 2021.PMID:34551712. Explore a communication curriculum with an emphasis on social accountability: A case study from a South African medical school, available as a free PDF download from the PMC. PMID: 29943599. Matthews MG, Van Wyk JM.Afr J Prim Health Care Fam Med. 2018 May 28
  • 10(1):e1-e10. doi: 10.4102/phcfm.v10i1.1634. Free PMC article: Towards a culturally competent health professional: a South African case study (Towards a Culturally Competent Health Professional). A review of the literature by Matthews M, Van Wyk J.A review of the literature by Matthews M, et al.BMC Med Educ. 2018 May 22
  • 18(1):112. doi: 10.1186/s12909-018-1187-1.PMID:29788967 Prevalence of asthma among schoolchildren in Gaborone, Botswana, according to a free PMC article. Kiboneka A, Levin M, Mosalakatane T, Makone I, Wobudeya E, Makubate B, Hopp R, Mazhani L, Kung SJ.Kiboneka A, Levin M, Mosalakatane T, Makone I, Wobudeya E, Makubate B, Hopp R, Mazhani L, Kung SJ.Kiboneka A, et al. Afr Health Sci. 2016 Sep
  • 16(3):809-816. doi: 10.4314/ahs.v16i3.22. Understanding the medications information-seeking behavior and information requirements of long-term patients in South Africa with inadequate reading abilities is a free PMC article available to everyone. Patel S, Dowse R.Patel S, et al. Patel S, et al. 2013 Sep 24
  • 18(5):1495-507. doi: 10.1111/hex.12131
  • Published online ahead of print on October 1, 2013. Expectations for Health in 2015.PMID:24112215 PMC article is provided for free.

Cultural Awareness in Healthcare: A Checklist

Culture is a difficult topic to grasp. It encompasses people’s ideas, values, actions, and methods of conceptualizing their environment and the world. In medicine, the ability to manage cultural differences—including customs—is critical to providing high-quality health-care services to patients. The fact that patients may be unaware that they have traditions that might harm their well-being is a significant problem. Culture is usually invisible to those who do not belong to it. The differences between nations’ traditions and ways of life, on the other hand, are often visible to outsiders—and at times, bizarre.

  • When I knock on the door, they open it, greet me with small bows and grins, and invite me into the entry area.
  • For a long time, we just stand there and exchange niceties.
  • I’ve noticed that folks occasionally stare down at my feet and appear to be uncomfortable.
  • It must have seemed unusual to them that I would stroll inside a house without taking my dirty-soled shoes off.

What is cultural awareness?

Cultural awareness is the ability to recognize and comprehend our own cultural ideas, values, and conventions, as well as the ways in which they influence our decisions and actions. Cultural awareness encourages us to take a step back and examine ourselves as if we were looking at ourselves through the eyes of a stranger, as well as to be open to new ideas and ways of doing things. When Margaret Mead emphasized the fundamental importance of anthropology, she said it best: “to make the familiar strange, and the strange familiar.” When it comes to recognizing cultural obstacles to medical treatment, cultural understanding on the side of both the practitioner and the patient is essential.

The impact of customs on healthcare

Patients’ attitudes to disease and therapy are influenced by their cultural background. In our multicultural culture, differences in traditions can lead to confusion and misunderstanding, which can undermine trust and patient adherence, as well as the ability to communicate effectively. Here are three instances from my professional experience that demonstrate how significantly culture influences medical care:

  1. I once had a patient from Morocco who needed to be admitted to the hospital because of pneumonia. The moment I walked into the unit, a group of Moroccan friends and family members were having a loud altercation with many nurses, nursing assistants, and the ward clerk. The staff was attempting to usher the guests out of the patient’s room when the incident occurred. They would never contemplate abandoning a sick relative in a hospital room back home in Morocco. They were utterly unfamiliar with the concept of ‘visiting hours,’ which we take for granted. When I practiced in New York, Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish traditions had a role in shaping our rules and procedures. Because the hospital featured a Sabbath elevator (so that no one would have to do the laborious task of operating an elevator on a Holy Day), healthcare staff and patients were not allowed to have physical contact with one another across gender boundaries in the facility. It was also interesting to see the variety of dietary practices practiced by different cultures, including Kosher (Halal) and vegetarian menus, seaweed soup served to Korean women after giving birth, and attention paid to the hot and cold properties assigned to various foods in traditional Chinese medicine. One of my most memorable patients was Grace, an African-American Jehovah’s Witness. Grace was in her late seventies and in critical condition. It was discovered that one of her heart valves was not functioning properly, necessitating significant cardiac surgery to replace it. Also, Grace had a tendency to hemorrhage, and she would require blood transfusions during the procedure. The majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses are opposed to the transfusion of entire blood or blood components. Rather than making this decision because of perceived danger, this decision is made based on the interpretation of biblical passages. Grace was adamant in her refusal to have the procedure. Introspection and conversation with her family and religious community revealed that this was, in fact, her fully informed request, and the medical team honored her decision.
You might be interested:  Mozarabic Style Combines Christian Forms With The Artistic Style Of What Culture

Cultural Awareness Checklist

Promoting cultural awareness and delivering culturally sensitive treatment are impossible without effective communication and on-going education. Utilize this checklist to ensure that you and your patients are able to comprehend and navigate any cultural differences that may have a direct influence on care as you try to improve cultural awareness in yourself and in your patients.

  1. Create a clear line of communication. Make sure you understand your patient’s preferred means of communication and that you can arrange for expert interpretation if necessary. Keep an eye out for nonverbal signs, but refrain from leaping to conclusions. However, nonverbal communication may transmit a great deal of important information—and it can change considerably between cultures. Make no conclusions about a person’s behavior unless you are familiar with their conventions. Inquire frankly about any traditions or practices that could be relevant. This involves looking at any spiritual/religious activities, nutritional considerations, and cultural standards that may be particularly relevant to the patient’s clinical situation
  2. And, Normalizing statements should be used. A courteous method to inquire about delicate topics such as cultural or religious norms is to first explain that they are quite widespread in the area in which you live. for example, “A lot of my patients have traditions or habits that are crucial for me to be aware of so that I can provide you with the best possible care.” Examine your own prejudices. We all have unconscious biases and preconceptions that have an influence on our interactions with our patients. Identifying and comprehending these prejudices aids in their management, and it is necessary for acquiring cultural awareness to do this.

Written by

In addition to being the Co-Founder of Quality Interactions, Dr.

Alexander Green is also an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, as well as a Senior Investigator in the Division of General Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

How culture influences health beliefs

Every culture has its own set of health beliefs that explain what causes sickness, how it may be healed or treated, and who should be engaged in the treatment or cure process. The amount to which patients believe that patient education is culturally relevant to them can have a significant impact on their receipt of the information offered and their desire to apply it. As a consequence of their belief that disease is the product of natural scientific occurrences, Western industrialized civilizations such as the United States favor medical therapies that battle microbes or employ advanced technology to identify and cure sickness.

  1. Patient compliance is significantly influenced by cultural factors.
  2. Asians and Pacific Islanders constitute a significant proportion of the population of the United States.
  3. The extended family holds a great amount of power, and the oldest man in the family is frequently the decision-maker and the family’s public face.
  4. Respect is shown to older members of the family, and their authority is frequently uncontested.
  5. Disagreement with the suggestions of health-care experts is avoided as a result of a healthy respect for authority.
  6. Mental illness or any action that suggests a lack of self-control may result in feelings of shame and guilt among Chinese patients, owing to the fact that the individual’s behavior has an impact on the family.
  7. It is common for some sub-populations of cultures, such as those from India and Pakistan, to be reluctant to accept a diagnosis of serious emotional disease or mental retardation because doing so significantly diminishes the likelihood of other members of the family marrying.

Healthy living is considered as the consequence of a healthy balance between the poles of heat and cold, which control the operations of the human body.

If, on the other hand, trust has been established, it may be possible to accept aid.

Medical practitioners in Russia have had an authoritarian relationship with the government, and there has been little opportunity for open dialogue or free sharing of knowledge in the past.

Paternalistic approaches are expected by patients; the competent health care practitioner does not ask patients what they want to do, but rather instructs them on what to do.

However, despite the fact that Hispanics share a common background that includes family and religion, each segment of the Hispanic community has its own set of cultural beliefs and practices.

There are many Hispanic patients who believe that sickness is God’s will or divine retribution as a result of prior or current bad behavior, and many hold fatalistic ideas as well.

A large number of African-Americans are involved in a culture that emphasizes the significance of family and religion.

When making significant health-related decisions, it is customary to talk with a crucial family member.

Native Americans share a number of cultural characteristics, the most prominent of which are a focus on the present and a high regard for collaboration.

They think that when a person lives in complete harmony with nature, he or she is in a condition of good health.

Native Americans may consult with a shaman, who is a traditional medicine man or woman.

As a result, the health-care system is more diverse than it was in the past.

Such expectations have frequently resulted in hurdles to care, which have been exacerbated by the variations in language and education between patients and physicians from various backgrounds, among other factors.

Culture-specific ideas and values are brought to the table by patients and their families in relation to perceptions of health and disease, the reporting of symptoms, expectations for how health care will be given, and views about drugs and treatments.

Within cultures, as well as between cultures, there are differences. Table 14 outlines strategies that you might employ while interacting with patients from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Table 14 shows the results of the survey.

Strategies for Working With Patients In Cross-Cultural Settings
  • Acquaint yourself with the cultural customs of the people you are caring for. Be alert for any changes in body language, lack of reaction, or worry expressions that may indicate that the patient or family is experiencing difficulties but may be reluctant to share this information with you. Open-ended inquiries should be asked of the patient and his or her family to elicit more information about their assumptions and expectations. When presented with material that displays ideals that are different from your own, maintain your objectivity. Follow the recommendations made by patients regarding the most effective approaches to enhance communication within families and between families and other health-care professionals, including:
SOURCE:Mc Laughlin, L.,Braun, K. (1998). „Asian and Pacific Islander cultural values: Considerations for health care decision-making.“ Health and Social Work, 23 (2), 116-126.

Performing a cultural evaluation

Describing a Culture from Within

It is a difficult notion to grasp because it can conjure up pictures of beneficent men and women dedicating their lives to the sick and defenseless while also conjuring up images of a patriarchal institution tainted by elitism and the misuse of power. Creating these seemingly contradictory pictures is the result of a complicated interplay between people who work in medicine, the institutions that teach them, and the society in which they both operate. The rich history of medicine, as well as the most current advances in medical attitudes and practices, have all had an impact on the culture of medicine.

Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of identifying and discussing culture is that so much of what shapes and sustains it is implicit.

In medical culture, as in any culture, what one is expected to “pick up on” or “read between the lines” without being explicitly told is very much a part of the equation; the social norms and expectations that exist just beneath the surface can be just as influential as anything that is explicitly stated.

For all of these reasons, if we are to evaluate medical culture today, we must look beyond our preconceived notions and challenge the established order.

Following that, we should work to increase our understanding of the values that underpin this culture, so that we may more properly and critically assess their impacts on our behaviors and attitudes.

This theme issue has a particular emphasis on medical school, which for many professionals serves as their first introduction to the medical profession.

We begin by looking at the gates of the medical profession (and the people who guard them) in order to address the issue of who gets into medical school and for what reason.

In this episode, Mark G.

This administrative decision emphasizes the critical role that institutions may play in promoting a spirit of inclusivity in medical culture, as well as in listening to and reacting to the needs of the communities they serve, as demonstrated by this administrative decision.

The article on encouraging diversity in medicine by Marc J.

Sneed claims that the discourse about the financial difficulty of going to and attending medical school may discourage people from pursuing professions in medicine who come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

Wainapel explores the difficulties faced by applicants who have disabilities.

When it comes to medical education, the phrase “hidden curriculum” has been used in sociology to characterize aspects of the curriculum that are not intentional or explicit.

Frederic W.

Gaufberg, and Joseph F.

During a journal article discussion, Martha Peaslee Levine focuses on the enormous effect physician-student connections have on the next generation of doctors.

LeBlanc further investigates medical education’s function in culture, questioning the “see one, do one, teach one” attitude.

Brian Goldman contends that the slang used by medical residents shows underlying attitudes and frustrations and asks us to use these findings to generate discourse about these issues instead of responding punitively.

In this legal article, Richard Weinmeyer takes us on the path of a bold group of physicians who wanted to challenge the National Resident Matching Program in the case ofJung versus Association of American Medical Colleges.

He studies the role of narrative narratives, imitation, and habituation in developing and sustaining norms and values in medicine.

Amy Blair and Katherine Wasson discuss the tricky line between exhibiting compassion and improperly expressing emotions with patients.

Derhammer talks on the complications of attempting to accommodate residents after the arrival of a kid.

Buchanan and Aaron J.

This issue of theAMA Journal of Ethicscalls attention to some of the many ways in which society, people, and institutions interact to influence how we perceive and practice medicine.

It is an opportunity to examine more thoroughly on the genesis of our values and the reasons that support them so we can be convinced that they are, in fact, the values we intend the medical profession to exemplify.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *