Ultra-Orthodox Nursing Students’ Cultural Challenges Inside and Outside Their Community during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Sara Genut, Yaacov G. Bachner, Zvika Orr, Adi Finkelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In line with findings that nurses from minority groups have an important role in making health services accessible to their community, our study aimed to identify the challenges ultra-Orthodox Jewish nurses faced during COVID-19 in their encounters with patients and health staff from other communities, as well as their own community. The ultra-Orthodox community is a highly religious group that maintains isolation from general society, a phenomenon that affected its member experiences during COVID-19. Our research followed sequential explanatory mixed methods. The quantitative phase included a questionnaire completed by 235 female students (111 ultra-Orthodox and 124 non-ultra-Orthodox), followed by a qualitative phase, which included six focus-groups (n = 15). The quantitative analysis showed that the ultra-Orthodox students felt a higher sense of responsibility toward their community. They used their authority and knowledge to guide their community during the pandemic. The qualitative analysis identified two themes expressed as challenges ultra-Orthodox nursing students encountered within their community and with other sections of Israeli society. Our research shows the important role that transcultural nurses play in mediating updated health information otherwise inaccessible to their community, especially in times of crises. It is important to address dilemmas this group faces inside and outside their respective communities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9215
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number15
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • COVID-19
  • cultural competence
  • minority
  • mixed methods
  • nursing students
  • transcultural
  • ultra-Orthodox

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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