Cultural Diversity Of The United States

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Culture can be defined as “language, ideas, beliefs, customs, taboos, codes, institutions, tools, techniques, works of art, rituals, ceremonies, and symbols” (Merriam-Webster, 2014). The United States is currently experiencing a dramatic change regarding cultural diversity. According to a recent census, 36.3 percent of the United States population belongs to an ethnic or racial minority (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Increased immigration from around the world is continually adding to the numbers of our already culturally diverse nation. However, despite a marked increase in life expectancy, a decrease in infant mortality, and other health care improvements, many minority groups still experience poorer access to heal care. It should be the goal of every health care worker, especially nurses, to do all that is in their power to not only culturally congruent care but also to attempt to eliminate these health care related disparities. To successfully achieve this goal, a nurse must be willing to adapt his or her care to appropriately fit the values of the patients they are caring for. This can sometimes be a difficult goal to achieve, especially if the patients cultural differences cause conflict with what the health care provider feels is the most appropriate medical care. The first step in providing culturally competent care requires a nurse to make an unbiased examination of their own background, culture, and potential personal stereotyping. The second step is gathering
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