Which countries are surprisingly multicultural?
Multicultural teams offer many opportunities, but they also need to be encouraged
Good cooperation in teams, especially in multicultural teams, does not happen by itself. Detlef Rüsing, editor of pflege: Demenz, clearly shows how different the attitudes and interests of different groups within a care team can be, and advocates actively tackling the problems that arise as a result of this in the team.
Multicultural teams in geriatric care have not only existed since immigration and the problems associated with it have been on everyone's lips for the past two years. As early as the 1980s, I worked in old people's homes, in hospitals and in outpatient care with Turkish, Polish and Russian-born nurses as well as colleagues from African and Asian countries. And caregivers have always cared for people from different cultures and countries. In the 1990s in particular, there was already an extensive debate on nursing science (Leininger 1991, 1995; Friebe, Zalucki 2003), which - mainly inspired by the writings of the American ethnologist and nursing scientist Madeleine Leininger (1925--2012) - led to very controversial issues has been. In the context of this discussion, however, the main focus was on preparing caregivers for caring for people from other cultures (meaning region- and country-specific cultures).
Immigration / migration affects us both on the part of the carers and on the part of the carers. Both are also interrelated: through immigration, we will have to look after more people who have a different cultural background. At the same time, more and more colleagues with a different cultural background will (hopefully) work in nursing in Germany. These are irrefutable and irreversible facts and - with all due respect - these have arrived in Germany as “surprising” as demographic change. So it cannot be a question of whether we even deal with it. We have to deal with it! Quite a few (including myself) assume that the recruitment of young immigrants - especially for elderly care - represents a real opportunity to improve and ensure person-centered care for people (with or without dementia). This thought is mainly due to the idea that person-centered care requires people on the side of the carers who meet the caregivers. Person-centered care can only be achieved through people. And we clearly have too little of that! Of course, in our society it must also be a matter of getting more people living in Germany excited about this profession through a positive replacement for the nursing profession. But the figures on the “care emergency” speak volumes and make it clear how much we depend on people who come to us in this area.
But assuming the case that many immigrants would learn and take up the nursing profession in addition to a hopefully high number of newly acquired people of German descent: would our problems be solved automatically? Would colleagues with a migration background be exclusively and automatically an asset to the teams? Or do different sociocultural backgrounds possibly also cause problems that have to be dealt with?
We know from research that the quality of care also depends on the quality of teamwork. But what defines the quality of a team, maybe even a “multicultural” team? How does a collection of people from different backgrounds become a “good” team?
There are also cultural and linguistic barriers in the care team
In our practical example ...
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