Goal: 92% of activity participants will be prepared to care for the different cultural groups.
Goal: 92% of activity participants will be prepared to care for the different cultural groups.
After completing this continuing education course, the participant will be able to complete the following objectives:
There are 7 billion people in the world today who speak more than 6000 languages. The world's people are moving more frequently. This movement causes differences to be less clear among traditional language, racial and ethnic communities.1
Cultural competency is the ability of healthcare workers to provide equal care to different cultural groups.2 Culture is the way groups of people understand their history, how they share their values, and how they engage in similar actions. Culture is not necessarily equal to racial and ethnic groups. It may reflect a similar social group, religion, sexual orientation, or occupation, such as the military culture. People who share a cultural belief are organized into groups. They can be grouped by family, gender, age, or common interests. There can be multiple subcultures. For example, there are different national subgroups within the Latino cultural group, such as Cuban, Venezuelan, Mexican, etc.
Several nontraditional groups have now been recognized as cultural groups. These groups can be teenagers, deaf, homeless, and LGBT. These groups have shared values and make similar healthcare decisions. Failure of the healthcare worker to recognize the patient's cultural group can cause poor health outcomes. Sometimes healthcare workers may use language that they do not realize is offensive. This unawareness can cause the patient not to trust the worker. Not trusting the healthcare worker can lead to poor health outcomes and noncompliance.1
Self-awareness is the first step toward culturally competent care. This step starts with knowing your personal values and beliefs as well as healthcare values and beliefs. Think about how these factors can influence caregiving to patients. This self-awareness is helpful to understand the cultural beliefs of patients. Being aware of your own biases and attitudes allows you to become more appreciative and sensitive to patients' needs. This awareness means that the healthcare workers must think about their own attitudes toward different ethnic backgrounds and how those beliefs may cause problems when working with different cultures. Self-awareness is only one component, however. Healthcare workers must be able to develop skills in delivering culturally competent care.
Knowledge is another step in gaining cultural competence. Healthcare workers need to know cultural differences and traditions to provide the best care. Knowledge is not just learning about different cultures. There is a need to understand the worldview of the patient as it pertains to their culture. Worldview is how the individual sees the world based on their values and beliefs, which are part of their culture. Understanding the patient's worldview will help the healthcare worker understand behaviors and beliefs that will directly impact care. Knowledge also entails learning about biological characteristics and variations as well as cultural practices. This knowledge will also aid in communication.
Education and training in cultural differences and skills should be included in initial training and continuing education. Healthcare workers need to identify the impact of policy, procedure on patient care and advocate for patients' cultural needs.
Healthcare organizations should provide cultural resources to meet the needs of a diverse population. The organization must focus recruitment and retention on gaining a multicultural workforce. The workforce should be similar to the cultures of people who live in the community where the organization is located.
Communication is of vital importance in cultural competence. Communication within a culture is socially based and often complicated. It includes a variation of the culture, which can often be misunderstood. Misunderstandings can lead to incorrect assumptions, stereotyping, prejudice, and issues with cultural boundaries. When communicating with patients from different cultures, it is important to keep in mind the culture's normal actions. The differences that exist when two cultures communicate can confuse meanings in the messages that are sent and how the messages are understood. The communication between two different cultures is called cross-cultural communication.
Cross-cultural communication includes:
Good communication skills include:
If an interpreter is needed, the healthcare worker should understand that cultural values cause misunderstanding when communicating with the interpreter. Family members should not be used as an interpreter as this can interfere with privacy and lead to bias. Once communication barriers are understood and overcome, the conversation about care is clear. Using the patient's own language and terms shows respect and caring.
For Muslims, it is important to understand fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. Children of certain ages may be allowed to participate in fasting. In some Muslim subcultures, it may be inappropriate to touch any female patients.
Native Americans believe in "passive forbearance," which proposes the idea that individuals should be able to choose their path free of intervention from another family members.1
The Latino culture values "personalismo," which is defined as politeness in the face of conflict or stress. Machismo refers to strong masculine pride and dictates mutual actions with certain male Latino subgroups.
Sometimes patients make decisions based on sensationalized media reports and wrong information.
Different cultures have different ideas about the role of healthcare. Some cultures view the healthcare worker as a trusted confidant. They expect the worker to provide valuable advice as needed. Other cultures may view workers as an intrusion. So, healthcare workers should adjust their actions based on the patient's background and expectations.
The culture of healthcare has changed. Patients are making their own care decisions. Workers are encouraged to provide services that meet the patient's values.
Being sensitive is a big part of providing culturally competent healthcare. Sensitivity helps workers to appreciate, perceive and respond to a patient's verbal and nonverbal cues.
Healthcare worker's nonverbal communication has the most impact on patient satisfaction. If healthcare workers were attentive to the patient's needs, appeared interested, and made eye contact during care, a healthcare worker's race did not matter on the patients' evaluations.4
Health organizations that receive federal funding are required to meet standards that improve communication. Some of the standards are:
LGBTQ: Refers to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning/queer people. However, it is commonly used to represent all gender or sexual minorities, such as asexual or intersexual subgroups. (Hegazi) The Q in the LGBTQ community can mean "queer" or "questioning," which refers to someone exploring their sexuality or gender identity.5
Bisexual: Someone who remains attracted to both genders.5
Asexual: Someone who is not attracted to any gender. They typically do not identify with a specific sexual orientation.5
Cisgendered: This is a person who recognizes their gender as the same gender they had assigned at birth.5
Homosexual or Gay: Someone who is attracted to someone of the same gender.5
Intersex: Someone who is born with variations in sex characteristics that do not fall into the typical description of a male or female body. Bottom line, this refers to someone whose anatomy is not exclusively female or male.
Lesbian: This refers to a woman who is attracted to another woman.5
Pansexual: A person who is attracted to people of any gender or sexual orientation.5
Questioning: This refers to someone who is questioning their gender or sexual orientation.5
Transgender: This refers to someone whose gender is different from their gender at birth.5 Transgender has become a general term that refers to transgender, transsexual, or gender non-conforming.5 Gender dysphoria defines distress attributed to gender incongruence as it relates to the patient's mind and body. The LGBTQ nomenclature is in flux constantly, and healthcare workers must make it a point to keep up with the newer terms even as the field continues to evolve.5
Gender dysphoria: the unhappiness or dissatisfaction that transgender people may experience.
The cause for unequal treatment in the LGBTQ community is complicated. Healthcare workers must create a safe environment for all patients.
People in the LGBTQ community may be afraid to disclose their sexual orientation. They fear bullying and poor access to healthcare.6 They think there are unequal healthcare treatment and homophobia. They hear bad comments about LGBT patients from healthcare workers. They see discrimination in care against patients in the LGBT community.7 They have been refused healthcare because of their gender identity.
Education of the healthcare community to learn about the care of LGBTQ patients is needed.
Cultural competency is the healthcare worker's ability to understand the language, actions, and values of a specific religious, racial, ethnic, and other social groups. Cultural competency is needed to change the patient's opinion of differences in quality healthcare. Cultural competency is an important part of health care policy. It improves healthcare.