More and more emphasis is being placed on the importance of culturally competent care in the U.S healthcare system.
What is culturally competent care?
Well, my classmates and I argued back and forth about this for about and hour, but we eventually decided on...
Cultural Competence- an awareness and sensitivity for other races, nationalities, languages, socioeconomic status, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identification, and everything else that makes us different from one another.
But what you really might be wondering is why should we care?
Well... the things that make us different, may also make us view health care different. Having an appreciation for this will help the system and its providers more effectively take care of the community.
For example, the United States is blend of cultures from all over the world, and many people from other countries come to the U.S just to receive care. And although foreigners are seeking care in the U.S, they may not share the same practices valued in western medicine.
Another example is religion; especially in end of life care. People get pretty religious toward the end of their life. While a doctor doesn't necessarily have to pray with a patient, it doesn't hurt to help them find someone who will. Patient comfort has an impact on care outcomes, and if doctors and nurses can at least be sensitive to this and be willing to listen to patient values, they can increase patient trust and comfort. Sometimes all it takes is a simple, "I hear you, and I understand".
Providing care is more then making a diagnosis and performing a procedure, it includes bedside manner and patient provider trust.
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