Colombia: Cultural Languages And Etiquette, Traditions, Religion Beliefs And Health Care

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Living in a diverse world with various types of cultures is incredible and with the help of technology today we can understand others who may have different beliefs than someone else. As a nurse it is important to be open minded to others needs, help with problems, and assist them to the best of your ability. Getting to know the culture of patients will not only benefit them but most importantly the nurse to provide appropriate care and at ease. Learning their language, traditions, religion beliefs and health care.

Cultural Languages and Etiquette

Spanish is the native language spoken in Colombia from about 99% of the population, however, there is 65 Amerindian languages. (Kwintessential, n.d.) If patient was from Colombia and tells the nurse “tengo dolor” he or she is stating, they have pain. Nurse would either must distinguish or ask someone who speaks Spanish to interpret what the patient is saying. Not only does the nurse have to know Spanish but also the etiquettes Colombians use. Arm length is a must if personal space is violated it is considered disrespectful and antagonistic only exceptions are packed bus stations or on buses. (Marquez & Broadfield) “If the nurse is a male he must firmly shake hands, maintain eye contact and smile with another male family member. If family of the patient visits everyone needs to greet before and after the nurse leaves.” (Kwintessential, n.d.)


It is important for a nurse to look up traditions their patient traditionally celebrated to help them loved. “Just like the U.S., Colombia celebrates Christmas, Easter and all Saint’s day. The only difference is Colombia celebrates Epiphany (January 6) I Immaculate Conception (December 8), Independence Day (July 20), Carnaval of Barranquilla, the Cartagena International Caribbean Music Festival, the Medellín flower fair, and the Festival of the Devil in Rio Sucio. (Marquez & Broadfield)

Religion Beliefs

The primary religion in Colombia is Roman Catholic which is 95% of the population and sacraments are taken seriously. (Marquez & Broadfield) Priest and bishops are used in churches and burial rituals. “Colombia supports more than 30 monasteries and 80 convents.” (Marquez & Broadfield) When someone deceases in Colombia they believe the spirit lives on after the body has died and judgment of the person’s life regulates the well-being of the spirit after death. For ceremonies of the deceased at the burial site relatives pray and have a moment of mourning. (Marquez & Broadfield) Nurse must put on plan of care to call the priest at the hospital to help with any questions and the month of Easter to emphasize no meat on Friday’s,

Health Care

Health care has improved dramatically over the last 30 years, but this has occurred mostly in upper class and middle-class urban areas. The urban poor and people in remote regions have limited access to food, housing, and medical treatment. There has been a reduction in the infant mortality rate and an increase in life expectancy over the last decade. In rural areas, women must contend with cultural and legal restrictions on health care. Malaria affects approximately 15 percent of the population, although the prevalence of AIDS is low. The health care system has taken an aggressive role in controlling the spread of AIDS by giving patients free access to therapy. Colombians have been exposed to several endemic tropical diseases, including dengue and yellow fever, and a variety of tropical parasitic infections. Colombians believe in the traditional remedies and healers remedies in rural areas and are called Taitas from the yagé culture they have maintained their indigenous medical practices. (Marquez & Broadfield).


With today’s society, nurses must be able to adjust to anything that comes their way. Keeping up with cultures and looking up information you are unsure about helps keep your patient happy. The beauty of it all is no matter the gender, race, religion, or culture of the patient nurses help; they are making a difference in someone’s life. “Save one life, you are a hero. Save 100 lives, you’re a nurse.” -anonymous.

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Writingbros. (2020, July, 15) Colombia: Cultural Languages And Etiquette, Traditions, Religion Beliefs And Health Care. Retrived September 21, 2020, from
"Colombia: Cultural Languages And Etiquette, Traditions, Religion Beliefs And Health Care." Writingbros, 15 Jul. 2020, Accessed 21 September 2020.
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