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Orthopaedic Essentials: Research Update

Culture care conflicts among Asian-Islamic immigrant women in US hospitals.

Schoen, Delores C.

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Culture care conflicts among Asian-Islamic immigrant women in US hospitals.

Rashidi, A., & Rajaram, S. S. (2001). Holistic Nursing Practice, 16(1), 55–64.

The number of women living in the United States who embrace Islamic beliefs is growing. It is estimated that by 2025 there will be at least 15 million American Muslims, many of them immigrants. American nurses, regardless of practice setting, will most likely care for culturally diverse patients, including Asian-Islamic immigrants. The teachings of Islam are integrated in the daily life of those who embrace this faith, and healthcare is viewed within that context.

The five critical concepts of Islamic beliefs from the Qur’an are (1) the pillars of Islam, (2) Hejab (modesty), (3) visiting a sick person, (4) dietary restriction, and (5) gender restriction. The major beliefs of Muslims are incorporated in the five pillars of Islam: (1) shahadah, which proclaims that God is one and Mohammed is His prophet; (2) salat (prayer) five times daily, with the ritual including cleanliness (ablution) before prayer, (3) zakat (purification), which requires giving 2.5% of net income as alms to the poor, (4) siawm (fasting) during the month of Ramadan, and (5) the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca).

Nursing concepts in providing healthcare include understanding and respecting the patient’s beliefs and practices while providing culturally competent care. Here are some examples: (1) facilitating privacy during prayer time (each prayer takes fewer than 15 minutes) by rearranging rounds/appointments and placing a notice on the door; (2) providing for fasting (sunrise to sunset) during Ramadan with long-acting medications, if possible, and altered mealtimes; (3) respecting modesty by not exposing the body in public (other than hands, feet, or face) unless medically necessary and (if possible) by a healthcare provider of the same gender; (4) including the spouse and extended family members in healthcare decisions; and (5) providing hallal (lawful) foods to meet dietary restrictions, avoiding haram (unlawful foods), such as pork or pork-based foods and alcohol or alcohol-based products, including cough syrups or other medications containing alcohol unless essential and prescribed by a healthcare provider.

© 2003 National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses