Unity in Diversity: The Vital Role of Cultural Competence in the Healthcare Environment
Healthcare is a fundamental right for every citizen. Who provides the Healthcare that they needed? Healthcare employees. Taking care of the health of the public is a big idea but there is more to it such as conducting research, developing new treatments and therapies, diagnosing and treating patients, and educating the masses on how to take care of our health. With the expanding variety of patient populations, cultural competence has become a key skill set for Healthcare employees. What is cultural competence? It refers to the ability of a Healthcare professional to understand and respect cultural differences in their patients and to provide appropriate care while keeping in mind of their patient’s cultural beliefs, values, and practices. As we go along in this blog, we will discuss its importance and study how cultural competence can improve patient results, reduce Healthcare differences, and promote a more inclusive and diverse workplace.
Understanding the Cultural Differences
Healthcare and Healthcare Providers have been viewed differently across different cultures. Cultural beliefs also play a factor when it comes to Healthcare decision-making. As a Healthcare professional, how important it is to understand the cultural differences of our patients? To do this, we must acknowledge that cultural differences exist and we should be open to learning about and respecting those differences such as believing in traditional or herbal treatments or medicines. Sometimes, spiritual practices are also present. These things mentioned will affect how the patient or his/her family will make their decision. Always remember, being respectful of someone’s views is the key to understanding cultural differences.
Enhancing Patient Communication
Once we are culturally competent, we will be able to communicate with our patients effectively. We can relay messages easily and they will be able to understand them such as terminologies that can intimidate, confuse, or discourage them from getting the needed treatment. Being able to level ourselves accordingly will not just help our patients but will benefit us more because we are also improving our communication skills through language barriers and cultural communication styles.
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Addressing Healthcare Disparities
In every Healthcare setting, Healthcare disparities are always present.
- Racial and ethnic disparities- people that belong to ethnic groups are more vulnerable to Healthcare disparities than non-minority populations due to a lack of access to modern medicine.
- Socioeconomic disparities- people that earn low income are also less likely to have access to quality Healthcare.
- Geographic disparities- just like people in ethnic groups, people who live in far rural areas, due to geographical reasons, have limited access to good health services as well.
- Age-related disparities- as our bodies get old, we are more prone to different diseases. Access to long-term care can be a challenge for older people.
- Sexual orientation and gender identity disparities- in places where LGBT individuals are being discriminated against and deprived of equality in society, they experience Healthcare disparity and may have limited access to quality Healthcare services.
Creating a culturally inclusive workplace
Providing a safe space and environment for our diverse patients is a great way of showing that we care for them no matter our differences. Having regular training and education regarding cultural competence is an effective solution for this matter. Our Healthcare professionals will be able to understand different cultures, values, and practices. We will also be able to teach them ways how to communicate with our patients properly and effectively without disregarding their views on Healthcare.
As we move towards a more diverse and multicultural society, being culturally competent should be essential, especially in the Healthcare field. Our Healthcare employees are the keys to encouraging equal treatment for everyone.
If you’re looking for a career in Healthcare that values cultural competence, AG Globe Services can help you find your dream job. Join us in promoting cultural competence in Healthcare and take the first step towards a rewarding career. Contact AG Globe Services today!