The Importance Of Diversity In Health Care

Decent Essays
An evident asymmetry in the healthcare workforce is the lack of diversity. Although minorities comprise about a quarter of the population, they range between 5.5 – 9.9% in the health care workforce (Grumbach & Mendoza, 2008; Rice & Unruh, 2016). Public health is the only field in which the ratio is similar to that of the general population (Grumbach & Mendoza, 2008). In general, the higher rates are seen in lower educational requirements and specialist jobs - nurse aides, vocational nurses - whereas lower rates are more prominent in higher salaried and educational requirements - advanced practice nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, osteopathic medicine (Grumbach & Mendoza, 2008; Moy & Freeman, 2014). Similar rates are also evident in health services…show more content…
(HHS, 2011, p. 22)
The Prevention Council (2010), an initiative from the Patient Accountability and Affordable Care Act, also includes expansion of training programs that support and increase diversity in the healthcare workforce.
The underrepresentation of minority populations in the health care workforce negatively impacts the health of the population, civil rights, educational benefits and business gains (Grumbach & Mendoza, 2008). Research indicates healthcare workforce diversity (racial, ethnic, and linguistic) correlates with improved access to and quality of care for underrepresented populations, and those in medically undeserved areas (The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (2008). As diversity in the US population maturates, it is important to increase the diversity in the healthcare workforce as well. There is a greater likelihood that patients will find providers who share their values, culture and speak their language (Moy & Freeman, 2014). Grumbach and Mendoza (2008) notes that it is important not to make the assumption that minorities have an unequalled ability to care for this population; when in fact it takes a collective effort of all health care personnel to reduce the health disparities that
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