A description of cultural diversity in healthcare

It increases knowledge about people from different backgrounds, such as socioeconomic, gender, racial, ethnic and sexual orientation. In the health care field, cultural diversity training can help employees and managers become more empathetic toward patients, can increase the inclusion of minorities into the business and can promote teamwork and respect. Demographic Factors Demographics are the characteristics of identity that are quantifiable. Examples include gender, age, ethnicity, disability, level of mobility, employment status and location.

A description of cultural diversity in healthcare

Increasing Diversity in the U. This has never been more true than it is today, as people from every corner of the globe continue to seek out a life in the U. The multicultural makeup of the U.

The new look of diversity in healthcare: Where we are and where we're headed

In urban areas it is not unusual for a doctor to have a diverse patient lineup-seeing a patient in the morning who recently emigrated from the Philippines, a multi-generational family of Indian descent later in the afternoon, and a tourist from China in the evening might be a typical day for some in the healthcare profession.

Even doctors and nurses who work in rural areas will inevitably encounter people of various ethnicities and cultural backgrounds in their careers, especially as the U.

A description of cultural diversity in healthcare

Sensitivity, compassion, understanding, and acceptance of patients with different values, beliefs, and behaviors are essential qualities for those who work in the medical arena.

Cultural competence is the ability of healthcare providers and organizations to meet the cultural, social, and linguistic needs of their patients.

Race - Defining race has generated its fair share of disagreement and controversy over the years, and many scholars today agree that race is a social construct.

Race is generally thought of as something that cannot be fundamentally altered e. Some definitions of race have been debunked altogether, such as the notion that a single characteristic, gene, or trait may separate all members of a so-called race from others.

A person who was born in Germany but emigrated to Italy as a very young child may consider his nationality Italian-he may speak fluent Italian and identify closely with Italian culture. Culture - So, what exactly is culture-the heart of our discussion on "cultural" competence?

Culture is shaped by many things, including race, ethnicity, nationality, heritage, socioeconomic status, education, and other factors.

Together, all of these influences are described as sociocultural factors, and they all influence the way a person interacts with the world. A culturally competent healthcare professional or institution must take into account all of these aspects of an individual to achieve cultural competence.

The world is more globalized than ever, today; a trend that will likely continue. This is why cultural competence is so important-in healthcare and beyond. Cultural Competence in Healthcare: Why It Matters Earlier we defined cultural competence as the ability of healthcare providers and organizations to meet the cultural, social, and linguistic needs of their patients.

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Respect is at the heart of cultural competence-patients who feel their healthcare providers respect their beliefs, customs, values, language, and traditions are more likely to communicate freely and honestly, which can, in turn, reduce disparities in healthcare and improve patient outcomes.

There is much progress yet to be made in ensuring that all patients are treated with equal respect and dignity. Poor communication between healthcare workers and patients can lead to greater health disparities and lower levels of satisfaction with healthcare. In fact, the data show that disparities in healthcare and dissatisfaction are more pronounced among racial minorities.

The report also highlighted language barriers as a significant contributor to disparities in care. For example, patients who speak Spanish at home were more likely than patients who speak English at home to report poor communication with nurses.

Benefits of Cultural Competence Cultural competence provides many benefits for healthcare professionals and healthcare organizations. Social benefits include increased mutual respect between healthcare workers and patients, increased trust, and promotion of patient responsibility and empowerment in their own healthcare.

When patients feel heard and understood by their healthcare providers, they are more likely to participate in preventive health care and less likely to miss health appointments. This can reduce medical errors and related legal costs for healthcare facilities, and it can improve health outcomes for patients.

Ultimately, a culturally competent organization can help reduce health disparities among patient populations-still a common problem today. Barriers to Cultural Competence A lack of diversity in the healthcare workforce and its leadership is among the leading barriers to cultural competence, contributing to racial and ethnic disparities of care.

Steps to Achieving Cultural Competence Maximizing diversity is the key to achieving organizational cultural competence. Hire and promote minority healthcare workers. Establish or strengthen existing programs aimed at minority leadership development. Develop a system for community and patient feedback where individuals can express concerns about their care and treatment.

Provide patients with health education materials and forms in different languages.Valuing diversity and understanding what cultural diversity truly represents Having the capacity for cultural self-assessment Being conscious of the dynamics inherent when cultures interact with patient centered care Acquiring institutionalized culture knowledge - polished through Cross-Cultural Encounters Develop adaptations to Rural Health.

Cultural diversity is a form of appreciating the differences in individuals. The differences can be based on gender, age, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and social status.

Cultural competence training for health care professionals focuses on skills and knowledge to value diversity, understand and respond to cultural differences, and increase awareness of providers' and care organization’s cultural norms.

ETHNIC OR CULTURAL GROUP IDENTITY: Individuals may identify with one or more ethnic groups according to how they define themselves or how others assign them this identity.

This article summarizes a unique approach to designing and developing high impact diversity education. It utilizes a cultural competence framework. Cultural competence is defined and a description of how to assess it at the individual and organizational levels is offered. JAMARDA Resources, Inc.

provides consulting, cultural diversity training workshops and continuing education that supports the public and private healthcare sector.

Workshops, seminars, and lectures can be tailored to fit the needs of your organization in 4 or 8 hour increments.

Interventions to improve cultural competency in healthcare: a systematic review of reviews