Diversity in Healthcare

1335 WordsAug 15, 20116 Pages
Diversity in Healthcare Have you ever been to the doctor and don't quite understand what the provider is telling you, or are you a healthcare worker and you don't understand your patients? Should the healthcare provider get diversity training or should they maybe learn new languages? More than ever before, healthcare professionals are subjected to dealing with a number of immense and different cultural diversities. While diversity is often a term used to refer specifically to cultural differences, diversity applies to all the qualities that make people different. Diversity requires more than knowing about individual differences and it key for overcoming cross-cultural barriers in healthcare. As cultures within the U.S.…show more content…
How can nurses successfully work with and care for the nation's increasingly diverse patient population? Here are some general guidelines: Don't make assumptions, explain every detail to the patient, ask about alternative approaches to healing, withhold judgments, and accommodate and educate. To deliver truly culturally competent care, "We have to look at where our patients are coming from and what their ideas of wellness and illness are," Hasenau says. Adapting to different cultural beliefs and practices requires flexibility and a respect for others view points. Cultural competence means to really listen to the patient, to find out and learn about the patient's beliefs of health and illness. To provide culturally appropriate care we need to know and to understand culturally influenced health behaviors. However, becoming culturally competent is a much more daunting task. Culture (and ethnicity) often influences a patient’s perceptions of health and illness. Therefore, if healthcare providers appear insensitive to cultural diversity, their actions may negatively affect the quality of the healthcare that they provide. More Diverse Healthcare Professionals lead to positive patient outcomes. Racial and ethnic minorities have higher rates of poor health outcomes than white in the case of disease, even when income, employment status and insurance coverage are controlled. Cultural bias is one contributor to this, according to the IOM Report Unequal Treatment:
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