The Importance Of Cultural Diversity In Health Care

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Cultural competence as defined by the American Medical Association acknowledges the responsibility of healthcare providers to understand and appreciate differences that exist in other cultures (as cited by McCorry & Mason, 2011). Moreover, it is the healthcare provider’s responsibility to not only become knowledgeable of other cultural differences, but to assess and adapt their skills to meet the needs of those patients (McCorry & Mason, 2011). Culturally competent healthcare providers recognize and incorporate cultural diversity, awareness, and sensitivity into the total care of a patient (Matzo & Sherman, 2015). Mr. L. is a Chinese-American man and it appears his culture is influencing his end of life (EOL) experience. It is essential…show more content…
L. and his family are experiencing the dying process and final days of his illness (Matzo & Sherman, 2015). Asian culture values collectivism— putting the needs of family and community over the needs of the individual (Hays & Erford, 2014). This seems to be the case with Mr. L. Although Mr. L. is weak and having difficulty eating, when asked how he feels he reports feeling fine. Additionally, Chinese culture holds the value that sadness and grief are kept private because a person’s dying thoughts influence end of life behavior, ultimately determining the cycle of life, death, and rebirth (Matzo & Sherman, 2015). Mr. L. demonstrates these values, keeping his emotions private and doesn’t complain about pain or discomfort. Mr. L. has not been told of his diagnosis or prognosis. In Asian cultures, dying patients are not told of their terminal illnesses because discussing end of life can lead to hopelessness. Additionally, in Chinese culture, the eldest male is responsible for decision-making (Matzo & Sherman). As Mr. L. can no longer make decisions, his oldest son would be responsible for deciding matters for the family. Furthermore, there appears to be an element of secrecy and lack of communication between the eldest son, mother, and youngest son. The eldest son and mother continue to encourage Mr. L. to eat when it causes aspiration. The younger son,

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