REPLY to La Donna

REPLY to La Donna

Culture is the way a certain group of people from a particular area of the world does all things including religion, dress, diet, and medical. “Ethnicity is biological and racial, and although tied to culture, may also be separate. It refers to a common social and cultural heritage passed on to each successive generation” (Giger & Davidhizar, 2002). “Acculturation, defined as the degree of an individual’s or ethnic group’s learning and adoption of another group’s values, may involve radical changes in ethnic intensity, eventually resulting in ethnic identity changes” (Borego, et. al., 2019). Acculturation refers to the acquisition and adaptation to the cultural values, attitudes, and practices of the majority culture (Borego, et. al., 2019). According to Balidemaj, “acculturation and ethnic identity are ongoing processes that affect individuals as well as communities” (Balidemaj, 2016).

Balidemaj, Albina (2016) Acculturation, Ethnic Identity, and Psychological Well-Being of Albanian-American Immigrants in the United States. All Dissertations. 1635.

Borrego, J., Ortiz-González, E., & Gissandaner, T. (2019). Ethnic and Cultural Considerations.Science Direct, 21, 461-497. doi:

Reply to Lauren


There are many different cultures and ethnicities across the world, so when caring for patients understanding culture, ethnicity, and acculturation is important for a health professional to ensure cultural needs are met. Culture consists of many elements, including language, customs, beliefs, traditions, modes of communication, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that are shared by members of a group or society, examples of cultural groups are religions, tribes, or social organizations (Falvo, 2011). Acculturation is the adaptation of a person to a new cultural environment, including the customs values, and behaviors (Falvo, 2011). Ethnicity is biological and racial, and is a common social and cultural heritage that is passed on from generation to generation (Giger & Davidhizar, 2004) (Falvo, 2011).

The differences in these terms are culture is learned in a society, ethnicity is an individual’s nationality, and acculturation is adaptation to a new cultural environment. When caring for a patient a nurse should have an understanding of culture, ethnicity and acculturation in order to effectively communicate and care for the patient. Therefore, the health professional should be aware of cultural differences, but also assess the patients on an individual basis, as not to make cultural assumptions about a patient’s beliefs or health practices (Falvo, 2011).


Falvo, D. (2011). Effective Patient Education: A Guide To Increased Adherence. Retrieved from

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