Essay on Race, Ethnicity, And Cultural Competency

Essay on Race, Ethnicity, And Cultural Competency

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Module 2 Reflection
During module 2 we focused on the topics of race, ethnicity, and cultural competency. In our textbook, Barr explains that it is important to understand how race and ethnicity are used and what they mean in order to potentially reduce health disparities in our society. We often refer to race and ethnicity as one in the same, but they actually have very distinct differences. “Race is associated with biology, whereas ethnicity is associated with culture.” (Live science, 2014) Race can be described as having common ancestry and as having common physical features or ethnic backgrounds. Ethnicity is described as having common characteristics such as race, culture, or religion. It is also based on the use of sharing a common language. It’s understandable that the two are often used interchangeably since they seem to overlap in definition. Culture competency is important because without it, neither individuals nor organizations would be able to function effectively or meet the needs of their consumers and communities. It can be defined as “a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency or among professionals and enable that system, agency or those professions to work effectively in cross-cultural situations.” (NCCC, 2014) This week’s readings, discussions, and related materials helped us to gain a better understanding of each term and understand the significance each term has with health disparities.
Our assigned reading of The Spirit That Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman was an epitome of how not being culturally competent can lead to racial and ethnic disparities in care. The story of Lia and her family even though it had a tragic ending could have had a ...


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... of American doctors to provide appropriate healthcare to individuals or groups with different values, beliefs, or behaviors.
This module will influence my public health practice in a lot of ways. I will pay more attention to cultural differences and make it a point to educate my staff as well as myself about different cultures in my community. I feel this will allow us to function effectively as an organization. I will use the knowledge from this module to eliminate barriers of communication in my practice by having a diverse staff, having access to a translator at all times, and ensuring that there is effective communication on both sides. I believe effective communication in any setting is critical but to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our community I will see to it that we try to eliminate all barriers that contribute to racial and ethnic disparities.

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