Cultural competence and diversity are often considered to have the same meaning in healthcare facilities. What is the difference between these two terms and their applicability in terms of healthcare professionals in various healthcare settings?
Although cultural competence and diversity are often considered to have the same meaning in healthcare facilities they are different. Diversity is in fact a component of cultural competency. This includes ethnic and racial backgrounds, age, physical and cognitive abilities, family status, religion, sexual orientation, etc… cultural competency wouldnt exist without diversity . It is important for healthcare professionals to be culturally competent for the sake of the patient’s comfort in receiving services. Lack of cultural competence can lead to noncompliance, missed appointments, and patients seeking care from non-professionals. In the cultural compliance training video an older Hispanic women spoke on how her physician said they’d schedule her a new appointment and she basically said that she wouldn’t show up because it would be the same thing that happened to her at her current appointment; a miscommunication and nothing being resolved. Health professionals who are diverse tend to have a better work ethic and connection with their patients because they’re most likely to be understand certain cultural distinctions, treatment seeking behaviors, etc… (cultural compentency for the health professional)
2) Explain the unique circumstances under which the ancestors of most Black/African American people arrived in the Americas. Why is it important for health service professionals to understand this history?
The first Africans in the New World arrived with Spanish and Portuguese explorers and settlers. By 1600 an estimated 275,000 Africans, both free and slave, were in Central and South America and the Caribbean area. Africans first arrived in the area that became the United States in 1619, when a handful of captives were sold by the captain of a Dutch man-of-war to settlers at Jamestown. Others were brought in increasing numbers to fill the desire for labor in a country where land was plentiful and labor scarce. By the end of the 17th century, approximately 1,300,000 Africans had landed in the New World. From 1701 to 1810 the number reached 6,000,000, with another 1,800,000 arriving after 1810. Some Africans were brought directly to the English colonies in North America. Others landed as slaves in the West Indies and were later resold and shipped to the mainland. (African American History: Scholastic , n.d.) However many “black” colored individuals rather identify themselves with their family-related nationality rather than where they were born or raised. Some rather the term black when being identified and some rather be identified as African American. This is very complex. I know, myself, I do not like to identified as Black I prefer to identify myself and Haitian/Bahamian because I consider the Black culture as people who only speak English and are just Americans with darker colored skin, who eat American meals and have American traditions. I speak English and Creole, I eat Haitian meals and follow Haitian traditions. I was born in America but my parents and older sisters were born in Bahamas and had the Haitian culture bestowed in them so I identify as that. It is important for health service professionals to understand the history of how most Black/African Americans were brought to the Americas so they’d be able to establish a positive relationship with their patients. The best way to approach patients on the matter would be to just humbly ask the person how they identify themselves. (cultural compentency for the health professional)
3) Is Hispanic a racial or ethnic category? Explain. How might this impact the status of the African/Black group, for example, in terms of whether it is the largest or second largest minority group?
Many people confuse racial and ethnic categories when it comes to the Hispanic group. But that is because many people do not know the difference between one’s race and one’s ethnicity. Unlike with ethnicity, one can only belong to one race. See, race is your biologically engineered features. It can include skin color, skin tone, eye and hair color, as well as a tendency toward developing certain diseases. It is not something that can be changed or disguised. People can however change or impersonate ethnicities through choice and principles. Ethnicity is about tradition, learned behavior and customs. It is about learning where you come from, and celebrating the traditions and ideas that are part of that region.(difference between ethnicity and race, n.d.). Thus, Hispanic would fall more into the ethnic category because the Hispanic group has no permanent physical characteristics, language or cultural norms. So a person of Hispanic decent can be Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race. Since Hispanic is not a racial group but an ethnic group, the Hispanic group comprise the largest minority group and the African/Black group comes in second as the second largest minority group. (cultural competency for the health professional)
4) List the racial categories based on the OMB classification in the United States. Explain the geographic origins of the people designated for each of the categories. Why is it important for health professionals to understand cultural differences among and between groups?
The racial categories based on the OMB classification in the United States are as follows:
Â· Native Americans or Alaskan Native: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America and who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliations or community recognition.
Â· Asian/Pacific Islander: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands.
Â· African American/Black: A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
Â· White: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East. (cultural competency for the health professional)
In the healthcare setting it is very important for health professionals to understand cultural differences among and between groups. In health care settings, cultural alertness, compassion, and competence conducts are essential because even such concepts as health, illness, suffering, and care mean different things to different people. Being knowledgeable of cultural customs enables health care providers to provide better service and help avoid misconstructions among staff, residents/patients, and families. Health care providers trained in cultural competency:
– Demonstrate greater understanding of the central role of culture in healthcare
-Recognize common barriers to cultural understanding among providers, staff, and residents/patients
-Identify characteristics of cultural competence in health care settings
-Interpret and respond effectively to diverse older adults’ verbal and nonverbal communication cues
– Assess and respond to differences in values, beliefs, and health behaviors among diverse populations and older adults
-Demonstrate commitment to culturally and linguistically appropriate services
-Work more effectively with diverse health care staff.
-Act as leaders, mentors, and role models for other health care providers (Dawn Lehman, Paula Fenza, & and Linda Hollinger-Smith)
5. A physical therapy office in “Little Haiti” in Miami, Florida is closed due to lack of funds. All patients’ appointments are routed to a nearby hospital’s physical therapy department in which the predominant population served is Cuban. List and describe a minimum some steps you believe the department has to take to meet the needs of the patients from a culturally competent prospective.
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