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Pashtun Nursing Communication


Afghanistan is a tiered culture. Certain individuals are respected owing to their age and standing in the society. In common conditions, they are presented first, aided first, offered the best meals, and should never be interrupted. They are also bound to make decisions that are considered to be the best for the community. In Pashtun society, titles are very significant and represent respect.

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Language, communication, and religious beliefs. Family values

When it comes to language and communication patterns of the Pashtun, it is anticipated that you will utilize an individual’s title and their last name up until asked to call them by their first name (Wilgus, 2011). The nurse should remember that greetings are frequent between the individuals of the same gender. Males are usually only allowed to shake hands with males and females might shake hands with other females. Nevertheless, the handshakes between males and females are rather uncommon due to religious beliefs.

One of the important family values is that females should never be physically touched (Sulaiman-Hill & Thompson, 2012). The menfolk are comfortable stating friendliness with hugs. Pashtun names habitually contain a name that signifies an individual’s social layer, tribe, profession, or any additional status indicators. They may as well comprise two titles that have a definite connotation when utilized together, and the sense is gone if the names are divided. Asking a person about how they wish to be addressed is one of the most important things the nurse could do when interacting with the Pashtun.

Eating patterns. Communication style

There are several peculiarities connected to the Pashtun’s diet, nutrition and eating patterns. A lot of them do not use any utensils and eat with their hands. Their diet is mostly represented by wheat, rice, and maize. A lot of fruits and vegetables are available. These are indispensable for protection against contagion (Zainullah et al., 2014).

A nurse should remember that it may take more than a few visits for the Pashtun to trust. They frequently use private questions as a means of getting to know their nurse as a person. The Pashtun do not need as much private space and will stand near to the individuals while communicating. They are commonly indirect communicators and express themselves in an oblique or convoluted fashion (Kourkouta & Papathanasiou, 2014).

The Pashtun speak directly only to those with whom they have an established personal bond. They also extensively utilize overstatements and metaphors. The Pashtun’s healthcare concerns and beliefs are rather unique, and the nurse should be aware of those specific aspects. Consequently, it is central to ask questions in the way that would allow the nurse understand what was meant by an ambiguous answer. The nurse should also be attentive to the fact that silence is frequently utilized as a communication instrument (Kourkouta & Papathanasiou, 2014).

Summary. Recommendations

To summarize, it is important to mention that additional skills can encourage proficient communication practices in healthcare workers. The nurse should ask easy questions. Elucidating and screening questions can assist in concentrating on the patient.

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A nurse that works with the Pashtun should be able to listen, summarize, paraphrase, empathize, and make sophisticated deductions. It can validate that the nurse is paying attention and capable of communicating efficiently. Marked by compassion, sympathy, and care, nurses can establish decent personal relationships with the aptitude to ask questions with gentleness.

The Pashtun should be provided with the information that determines the nurse’s interest, generates the feeling of acceptance, conviction, and establishes an open relationship, which is definitely important in the current multi-ethnic civilization.


Kourkouta, L., & Papathanasiou, I. (2014). Communication in nursing practice. Materia Socio Medica, 26(1), 65. Web.

Sulaiman-Hill, C. M., & Thompson, S. C. (2012). Psychological distress, sources of stress and coping strategies of resettled Afghan and Kurdish refugees. Journal of Muslim Mental Health, 6(2), 2-14. Web.

Wilgus, K. A. (2011). Off to Afghanistan. Nurse Educator, 36(6), 238-240. Web.

Zainullah, P., Ansari, N., Yari, K., Azimi, M., Turkmani, S., Azfar, P.,… Bartlett, L. (2014). Establishing midwifery in low-resource settings: Guidance from a mixed-methods evaluation of the Afghanistan midwifery education program. Midwifery, 30(10), 1056-1062. Web.

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