The Importance Of Cultural Competency In Health And Health Care

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Seeking to position lower socioeconomic status above racial/ethnic biases or vice versa is irresponsible to the goal of eliminating healthcare delivery differences at large. Both these are realities of a group of people who are not receiving the same level of care from the healthcare professionals although they exist within one of the most resource rich countries in the world, the United States. According to House & Williams (2000), “racism restricts and truncates socioeconomic attainment” (page, 106). This alone will hinder good health and spur on disparities as racism reduces the level of education and income as well as the prospect of better jobs. Blacksher (2008) cites the nation’s institutionalized racism as one of the leading factors…show more content…
Cultural competence like so many other social constructs has been defined in various ways. One particular definition as determined by the Office of Minority Health states cultural competence is a set of behaviors, attitudes, and policies that are systematically exercised by health care professionals which enables the ability to effectively work among and within cross-cultural situations (Harris, 2010). Betancourt (2005) implied cultural competence is starting to be seen as a real strategy to help with improving healthcare quality and eliminating the injustices pertaining to healthcare delivery and healthcare access. This appeal is gaining favor from healthcare policy makers, providers, insurers and…show more content…
Bentancourt et al. (2005) allows asserts that there are three distinctive reasons why cultural competency is so very important for the American healthcare system. American is composed of a very diverse population, which mean healthcare providers will continual be exposed to treating individuals from various backgrounds and from various cultures; their beliefs regarding their health or healthcare may range widely. When patients have a deficiency in the English language, proper healthcare delivery becomes increasingly more difficult as they will present symptoms in the syntax of their culture and their first language. Also, research shows the communication between the patient and their provider directly correlates to their satisfaction as well as their responsiveness or willingness to follow the health provider medical instructions; this ultimately affects the patient’s health outcome (Bentancourt et al., 2005). It’s fair to say that a successful health outcome is also contingent upon the interaction of the health provider and patient. Reports generated by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) – “Crossing the Quality Chasm and Unequal Treatment, confirms that cultural competence that focuses on the care of patient through
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