Cultural Competency In Clinical Practice Research Paper Samples
The National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards in Healthcare was set up to ensure that inequalities in the provision of healthcare resulting from cultural and linguistic differences are eliminated. The need for equal treatment of all persons irrespective of gender, social status, culture or religion, is inevitable in a diverse society (Jeffreys, 2010). Communication between the patient and the nurses or physicians is crucial in the health care setting. This communication can, however, be limited by existing societal or cultural barriers. Professionalism coupled with cultural competence for healthcare providers is crucial in order to understand the patients’ needs. This paper seeks to evaluate the importance of cultural competence in the healthcare sector while also looking at conditions under which this cultural competence can be deemed as unfit within the workplace.
Cultural competence can simply be described as attitudes and knowledge and skills necessary for providing quality health care to a diverse population without any discrimination or undermining. The clients to nursing care include individuals, families and the community (Baxter, C., & Royal College of Nursing, 2001). The merit of integration of modern nursing care and the cultural competence is purposely to develop a patient-centered care that recognizes respects and values differences in patients’ preferences and the health needs expressed. The greatest population that has minimal access to quality modern health care includes the socioeconomically disadvantaged groups, those living in rural areas and the racial and ethnic groups.
Therefore, integration of cultural competence can help eliminate health disparities in health care. The combination of the two can help overcome some cultural beliefs that some are entrenched in some communities. Most ethnic groups do not have regard for modern health care and have no believe in it and, therefore, integration of the two can help develop positive attitude and understanding of health care delivery system without compromising people’s cultures and values. According to Melillo, K. D., & Houde, S. C. (2011), patients and consumers from diverse backgrounds when served by culturally competent professional nurses, feel comfortable when interacting with health care setup. Effective care is thus realized and is portrayed by positive outcomes of the patients. All procedures done by the nurses are understandable to the patient due to the use of preferred language by the patient, and this ensures that all the information regarding the patient and medication is comprehensive. Thus, cultural competency shows great respect to the values beliefs, preferences, needs and norms of ethnic group and community. It also takes into consideration individual patients ensures that their views and needs are integrated into the health care policies.
All human beings, men and women are affected by health issues. However, women have increased complexities and thus need special health care due to their complexity and morphology. Some of the unique things about women are the periods, pregnancy and periods. Women also require regular checks on breast cancer, cervical cancer and bone density screening. All people have same health problem, but the difference comes in how they affect them. Mostly, under same health conditions women are more affected. For instance in times of depression and anxiety women are more affected than men. Research also shows that women are more likely to die fast following a heart attack than men (Spector, 2009). Also in case of infection by sexually transmitted diseases it is more severe for women than men and so many other issues .Due to these differences they thus require special health attention in relation to men.
When women conceive there are a number of steps to be followed in order to take care of the growing baby. During this period, there are a number of things to and others not to do. For instance, they should always consult the doctors for advice on dietary issues and medical purposes. One is advised what to eat and what to avoid. In the case of ill health at pregnancy, the prescribed drugs are meant to cure while having no harm on the pregnancy. This is one of the most challenging situations for women since it requires a lot of care and effort from conception to birth and even taking care of the baby till they are grown up to take care of themselves (Jeffreys, 2010).
Before pregnancy, it is advisable to get vaccinated and during pregnancy they should also get the right vaccinations that will keep them health and allow them conceive again and manage their reproductively. Women are also banned from taking alcoholic substances and smoking of cigarettes since they are harmful to the baby and their health in general (Melillo et al., 2011). They are also banned from strenuous activities during pregnancy. They are advised on how to kip fit by doing mild and moderate activities to some extent. Sometimes labor complications occur to women unexpectedly, and this is where cultural competence becomes of great assistance. Some times when the labor pains occurs it might not give time to be rushed to the hospital but if specialists from the community e.g. midwives can take over the responsibility to assist in proper delivery of the baby and safety of the mother.
Therefore, cultural competence has the merit of coming into action during emergencies and accidents in places where health care assistance cannot be accessed easily in a unique way as per cultural requirement of the community culture. For instance, it gives a chance to performing rituals by spiritual leaders such as cleansing and dedicating the mother and child respectively for some communities. In the case of other complications, home nurses take the opportunity to deliver care to the community before intervention of advanced medical assistance. This shows integration of modernity into the community context, in a respectful and acceptable manner (Spector, 2009).
According to Pérez et al. (2008), a mentally healthy person refers to one who is psychologically fit being and in a state of having no mental disorder. Mental health is the state of mental well-being in which one can be able to achieve life’s set objectives and perform their day to day activities appropriately with productivity and being able to keep with stress. Mental disorder is a common health challenge in most communities around the world. It is caused by inability to cope with stress, depression and anxiety. In some communities, it is believed to be due to witchcraft and sorcery and others believe it’s a bad omen to the community hence reject the mentally ill. Intervention of health personnel to impart knowledge to people concerning health care is of great importance. The state of mental illness can be a threat to the community in that unsound mind is capable of making improper judgments which may subsequently affect the community (Hunter, C. L., & American Psychological Association, 2009).
Mentally challenged individuals can decide to beat up other people they can threaten to commit suicide. Therefore, medical assistance and care is of crucial importance to the community in such situation. Most of the mentally ill are unconscious of what they do; it is thus paramount that they are approached in simple and most comprehensible manner (Dienemann, 1997). This is where cultural competency and understanding of community language is of great importance. In order for health care providers to deliver their service to such people there should be a level of mutual understanding and agreement between them and their patients in order to avert the possible risks of impaired judgments. They have to be tricked in the most intelligent but professional ways according to their preferences in order to convince them to accept treatment. This can only be achieved by promotion of cultural competency in which communication is the most important factor of surety of safety for the ill, the caregivers and the community (Hunter, C. L., & American Psychological Association, 2009).
Pain is a discomfort due to inflammation of swelling of high pressure on the body tissue that triggers pain impulses to the brain. Health issues affect all humans equally. Medical conditions may impart pain especially for people who have undergone surgery, injury, dislocations or fracture. Those who can easily access health care easily and living in remote areas. For delivery of good service to humanity, health centers all over the world have been sending the patients home for home care and assign caretakers the work of following up how they are doing while under care of their relatives (Dienemann, 1997). This is being done purposely to reduce overcrowding in hospitals and even to reach out the communities that cannot access health care in their homes. Thus, cultural competency helps in achievement of this by assigning someone whom the patients can communicate with effectively. Accidents and emergency health cases arise in unreachable areas where hospitals and health centers are very inaccessible.
Therefore, availability of health care taker within the community can be a safety measure that can save human life through first aid and help relieving pain .For instance, a victim undergoing pain due to a fracture or inflammation can be assisted by a health care giver by helping in lifting the patients using clinical skills and knowledge for efficiency. In the community setup where resources may be unavailable such as drugs and equipments, improvisation of readily cheap materials is done, e.g. placing of cold cloths on the painful body surface to sooth the skin (Melillo et al., 2011).
However, there are some demerits in regard to cultural competency. Some communities are very hostile. Such communities may be reluctant to interact with people from other cultures due to the stereotype ideologies. Most communities are very conservative and do not give a chance to dilution of culture. They always stick to their natural methods of curing, sorcery and magic, and work in accordance to their myths (Baxter, C., & Royal College of Nursing, 2001). Most of the medicinal drugs made in the communities from natural indigenous trees do not have accurate dosages and are not very specific in their treatment. Therefore, it is until modern and ancient methods are matched that best health care delivery can be achieved.
Cultural competence implementation has historically been limited by language barrier. If a community cannot produce nurses who can speak their native language, then it becomes difficult for people from other communities to learn the language so as to communicate in the local dialect with a particular society. Blais et al. (2010) asserts that some religions do not believe in use of medicine as a cure. They believe that their spiritual power can control the whole aspects of life and nature including healing or taking away the lives of the people. Inaccessibility of remote areas due to bad roads and weathers is a problem facing the implementation of cultural competence technique of providing health care. Inadequate workforce within the health care is another factor limit the home based care, since it is assumed that they can serve an increased number of clients from within the healthcare than reaching out to them from their homes.
Baxter, C., & Royal College of Nursing (Great Britain) (2001). Managing diversity and inequality in health care. Edinburgh: Baillière Tindall, published in association with the Royal College of Nursing.
Blais, K., & Hayes, J. S. (2011). Professional nursing practice: Concepts and perspectives. Boston: Pearson.
Dienemann, J. A. (1997). Cultural diversity in nursing: Issues, strategies, and outcomes. Washington, D.C: American Academy of Nursing.
Hunter, C. L., & American Psychological Association (2009). Integrated behavioral health in primary care: Step-by-step guidance for assessment and intervention. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Jeffreys, M. R. (2010). Teaching cultural competence in nursing and health care: Inquiry, action, and innovation. New York: Springer Pub. Co.
Melillo, K. D., & Houde, S. C. (2011). Geropsychiatric and mental health nursing. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.