The United States’ population is currently rising exponentially and with growth comes demographic shifts. Some of the demographics shifts include the population growth of Hispanics, increase in senior citizens especially minority elderly, increase in number of residents who do not speak English, increase in foreign-born residents, population trends of people from different sexual orientation, and trends of people with disabilities (Perez & Luquis, 2009). As a public health practitioner, the only way to effectively eliminate health disparities among Americans, one must explore and embrace the demographic shifts of the United States population because differences exist among ethnic groups (Perez, 2009). We must be cognizant of the adverse health conditions for each population and the types of socioeconomic factors that affect them. Culture helps shape an individual’s health related beliefs, values, and behaviors. It is more than ethnicity and race; culture involves economic, political, religious, psychological, and biological aspects (Kleinman & Benson, 2006). All of these conditions take on an emotional tone and moral meaning for participants (Kleinman & Benson, 2006). As a health professional, it is one’s duty to have adequate knowledge and awareness of various cultures to effectively promote health behavior change. Cultural and linguistic competencies through cultural humility are two important aspects of working in the field of public health. Cultural competency is having a sense of understanding and respect for different cultural groups, while linguistic competency is the complete awareness of the language barriers that impact the health of individuals. These concepts are used to then work effectively work with various pop...
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