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How Nigerian Culture Shapes Nursing Assistant Practices

Last Updated on August 11, 2023


Cultural influences play a significant role in shaping nursing assistant practices. This blog focuses on how Nigerian culture shapes nursing assistant practices and its relevance in Nigeria.

Nigeria is a culturally diverse country with over 250 ethnic groups, each having its own unique traditions, values, and beliefs.

These cultural influences have a profound impact on nursing assistant practices within the country.

In Nigerian culture, the role of the nursing assistant extends beyond providing basic healthcare needs.

While their primary responsibility is to assist nurses and other healthcare professionals in providing patient care, they are also expected to respect and adhere to cultural norms and practices.

For example, in many Nigerian cultures, there is a strong emphasis on respecting elders and providing care for family members within the home.

This cultural value is often reflected in the approach taken by nursing assistants when caring for elderly patients. They are taught to prioritize their comfort, dignity, and overall well-being, in line with cultural expectations.

Furthermore, Nigerian culture places a great emphasis on the importance of community and extended family support.

Nursing assistants are aware of this cultural value and often involve family members in the care of patients.

They understand that involving family members not only provides emotional and social support to the patient but also facilitates effective communication and care coordination.

Basically, cultural influences have a significant impact on nursing assistant practices in Nigeria.

These influences shape the way nursing assistants approach patient care, emphasizing respect for cultural norms and values, involvement of family members, and accommodation of religious and spiritual practices.

Understanding and incorporating these cultural influences are essential for providing culturally competent healthcare services in Nigeria.

Overview of Nigerian Culture

Nigeria’s rich cultural tapestry comprises 250 ethnic groups, each contributing to its vibrant society.

Cultural traditions exert profound influence across daily life, from customs to celebrations.

Rooted in heritage, Nigerian culture embraces enduring values and beliefs inherited over generations.

Religion, mainly Christianity and Islam, profoundly shapes the cultural landscape, underscoring the nation’s spiritual diversity.

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Introduction to Nursing Assistant Practices in Nigeria

Nursing assistants in Nigeria are healthcare professionals who provide basic care to patients under the supervision of registered nurses.

Importance of nursing assistants in healthcare systems

Nursing assistants hold a pivotal position within healthcare systems, offering indispensable contributions.

By delivering hands-on patient care, they alleviate the workload of nurses, enabling efficient and comprehensive care provision.

Their vital role spans from assisting with daily activities to monitoring patients’ conditions.

The collaboration between nursing assistants and nurses optimizes healthcare delivery, enhances patient experiences, and fosters an environment of holistic well-being.

Statistics and data regarding the shortage of nursing assistants in Nigeria

The shortage of nursing assistants in Nigeria presents a significant challenge to the healthcare sector.

The available workforce falls short in addressing the surging healthcare needs, creating a disparity between patient demands and available resources.

This scarcity hampers the quality of care and places strains on healthcare providers.

The urgent need for a larger pool of nursing assistants is underscored by the expanding population and evolving medical requirements.

Addressing this shortage is imperative to ensure effective healthcare delivery and uphold patient well-being.

Brief overview of the challenges faced by nursing assistants in Nigeria

Nigerian nursing assistants encounter multifaceted challenges, encompassing inadequate compensation, prolonged shifts, and restricted avenues for professional advancement.

These issues culminate in decreased job satisfaction and hinder personal growth.

The combination of these hurdles underscores the necessity for comprehensive reforms in the nursing sector, advocating for improved working conditions and career prospects to enhance the overall quality of patient care and the well-being of nursing assistants.

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Cultural Expectations and Communication Styles

The intricate tapestry of Nigerian culture significantly molds communication patterns, accentuating the values of respect and hierarchy.

Respect and hierarchy intricately weave through the fabric of Nigerian culture, deeply influencing healthcare interactions.

In Nigerian culture, nonverbal cues and body language convey profound messages, underscoring unspoken aspects of communication.

Proficient communication proves indispensable for nursing assistants, pivotal in ensuring superior patient care delivery.

By navigating cultural nuances, nursing assistants uphold the essence of effective healthcare interactions.

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Cultural Beliefs and Practices Impacting Nursing Assistant Care

When it comes to nursing assistant practices in Nigeria, the culture plays a significant role.

Nigerian culture is deeply rooted in traditions, beliefs, and practices that shape the way healthcare is approached and delivered.

By understanding these cultural beliefs, nursing assistants can provide culturally sensitive and responsive care to their patients.

Influence of Extended Family and Community Support on Healthcare Decisions

In Nigerian culture, the extended family and community support system have a strong influence on healthcare decisions.

Health issues are often seen as a communal matter rather than an individual one.

The family and community members actively participate in decision-making processes, including the choice of treatment and care options for the patient.

This influence can significantly impact nursing assistant practices as they work closely with both the patient and their family members.

Nursing assistants need to be aware of and respectful towards the input of the extended family and community, involving them in care planning and decision-making processes.

Cultural Perspectives on Illness, Healing, and Coping Mechanisms

In Nigerian culture, illness is often viewed as a spiritual or supernatural phenomenon rather than solely a physical ailment.

Traditional beliefs in witchcraft, curses, or evil spirits causing illness are prevalent. Healing and coping mechanisms involve a combination of Western medicine and traditional practices.

Nursing assistants need to recognize and respect these cultural perspectives on illness and understand the potential role of spiritual or traditional healing methods in the patient’s healthcare journey.

This requires open communication and collaboration with the patient and their family to ensure holistic care that aligns with their cultural beliefs.

Traditional Remedies and Their Integration with Western Medicine

Traditional remedies, such as herbal medicine and traditional healers, hold significant importance in Nigerian culture.

Many individuals still rely on traditional remedies alongside Western medicine for various health conditions. This integration of traditional and Western medicines can impact nursing assistant practices.

Nursing assistants should strive to understand and acknowledge the traditional remedies that patients may be utilizing.

They should be knowledgeable about potential interactions between traditional and Western treatments to provide safe and effective care.

Collaborating with other healthcare professionals, such as nurses and doctors, can aid in finding a balanced approach that incorporates both traditional and Western practices.

Impact of Cultural Beliefs on End-of-Life Care and Handling of Death

Cultural beliefs surrounding death and end-of-life care in Nigeria can significantly influence nursing assistant practices.

Nigerians often have strong spiritual and religious beliefs that guide their approach to death. Rituals, mourning practices, and burial customs play a vital role in the grieving process.

Nursing assistants should be sensitive to the cultural beliefs surrounding death and dying.

They should offer emotional support and facilitate the patient’s and family’s cultural rituals and customs.

This may involve collaborating with spiritual or religious leaders to ensure a holistic and culturally appropriate end-of-life care experience.

Understanding and embracing Nigerian culture is crucial for nursing assistants to provide effective and culturally sensitive care.

By recognizing the influence of extended family and community support, cultural perspectives on illness, integration of traditional remedies with Western medicine, and the impact of cultural beliefs on end-of-life care, nursing assistants can enhance their practice and foster positive patient outcomes.

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How Nigerian Culture Shapes Nursing Assistant Practices

Training and Education of Nursing Assistants in Nigeria

Overview of the formal training programs available for nursing assistants

Nursing assistants in Nigeria undergo formal training programs to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge.

These programs focus on developing competence in providing essential healthcare support to patients.

The training covers various aspects such as basic nursing procedures, infection control, and patient communication.

Integration of cultural sensitivity and understanding into nursing assistant education

Nursing assistant education in Nigeria emphasizes the importance of cultural sensitivity and understanding.

This integration ensures that nursing assistants are equipped to provide culturally appropriate care to diverse populations.

It includes learning about Nigerian cultural practices, beliefs, and traditions to better understand patients’ needs.

Importance of providing culturally competent care through training

Culturally competent care is crucial in nursing assistant practices to promote positive patient outcomes.

Through training, nursing assistants learn to respect and value different cultural backgrounds.

Culturally competent care ensures that patients receive personalized care that aligns with their beliefs and values.

Challenges faced by nursing assistants in adapting to cultural diversity

Nursing assistants often face challenges in adapting to cultural diversity due to differences in practices and beliefs.

Language barriers can hinder effective communication and understanding between nursing assistants and patients.

Lack of cultural awareness and understanding may lead to misunderstandings or inadequate care.

In essence, nursing assistant training and education in Nigeria play a crucial role in shaping their practices.

The formal training programs provide knowledge and skills necessary for providing essential healthcare support.

The integration of cultural sensitivity and understanding ensures that nursing assistants can provide culturally competent care.

However, challenges such as adapting to cultural diversity and overcoming language barriers may arise, highlighting the need for continuous education and training in this aspect.

Best Practices for Nursing Assistants in Nigeria

Importance of developing cultural competence and respectful care

  • Understand and respect Nigerian cultural values, customs, and beliefs when providing care.

  • Recognize the impact of culture on healthcare practices and patient preferences.

  • Develop cultural competence through education, training, and open-mindedness.

  • Be aware of personal biases and stereotypes, and address them to provide equitable care.

Encouraging collaboration and communication within healthcare teams

  • Work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals to provide holistic care.

  • Communicate effectively with nurses, doctors, and other team members to ensure coordinated care.

  • Share valuable insights about Nigerian culture to enhance patient understanding and treatment.

  • Promote a culture of respect, trust, and openness within the healthcare team.

Empathy and understanding as key qualities for nursing assistants

  • Show empathy and compassion towards patients, considering their cultural backgrounds.

  • Listen actively to patients’ concerns, fears, and preferences without judgment.

  • Take the time to understand and address cultural differences and their impact on care.

  • Use non-verbal cues, such as body language and facial expressions, to convey understanding.

Appreciation of diversity in patient values, beliefs, and customs

  • Respect patients’ religious and spiritual beliefs, and provide culturally appropriate care.

  • Accommodate dietary restrictions, rituals, and preferences related to food and drinks.

  • Learn about local customs surrounding birth, death, and other significant life events.

  • Show appreciation for the diversity in Nigerian culture and its impact on healthcare practices.

By following these best practices, nursing assistants in Nigeria can provide culturally competent and respectful care to patients.

Collaboration and communication within healthcare teams, along with empathy and understanding, are crucial in meeting patients’ needs.

Appreciating the diversity in patient values, beliefs, and customs enhances the quality of care provided.

Developing cultural competence and remaining open to continued learning can lead to improved healthcare outcomes for all.


Nigerian culture plays a crucial role in shaping nursing assistant practices by influencing their approach to patient care.

Nigerian culture deeply influences nursing assistant practices, fostering a unique approach to patient care. Respect for elders, strong family bonds, and communal values create a nurturing environment.

By embracing cultural nuances, nursing assistants enhance patient rapport, communication, and trust.

Cultural competence enables nursing assistants to cater to diverse patient needs, religious beliefs, and traditions. It promotes holistic care and strengthens the patient-caregiver relationship.

Through cultural sensitivity, nursing assistants contribute to patient comfort, emotional well-being, and recovery. Understanding cultural preferences for diet, clothing, and communication aids in providing personalized care.

Respecting cultural norms ensures ethical practice and upholds patients’ dignity. Nursing assistants facilitate effective care coordination by collaborating with families and involving them in care decisions.

Most importantly the fusion of Nigerian culture and nursing assistant practices enriches patient-centered care. By acknowledging cultural influences, nursing assistants create an inclusive healthcare environment that resonates with patients’ values and empowers their healing journey.

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