Cultural competence

1) Cultural competence and diversity are often considered to have the same meaning in healthcare facilities. What is the difference between these two terms and their applicability in terms of healthcare professionals in various healthcare settings?

Although cultural competence and diversity are often considered to have the same meaning in healthcare facilities they are different. Diversity is in fact a component of cultural competency. This includes ethnic and racial backgrounds, age, physical and cognitive abilities, family status, religion, sexual orientation, etc… cultural competency wouldnt exist without diversity . It is important for healthcare professionals to be culturally competent for the sake of the patient’s comfort in receiving services. Lack of cultural competence can lead to noncompliance, missed appointments, and patients seeking care from non-professionals. In the cultural compliance training video an older Hispanic women spoke on how her physician said they’d schedule her a new appointment and she basically said that she wouldn’t show up because it would be the same thing that happened to her at her current appointment; a miscommunication and nothing being resolved. Health professionals who are diverse tend to have a better work ethic and connection with their patients because they’re most likely to be understand certain cultural distinctions, treatment seeking behaviors, etc… (cultural compentency for the health professional)

2) Explain the unique circumstances under which the ancestors of most Black/African American people arrived in the Americas. Why is it important for health service professionals to understand this history?

The first Africans in the New World arrived with Spanish and Portuguese explorers and settlers. By 1600 an estimated 275,000 Africans, both free and slave, were in Central and South America and the Caribbean area. Africans first arrived in the area that became the United States in 1619, when a handful of captives were sold by the captain of a Dutch man-of-war to settlers at Jamestown. Others were brought in increasing numbers to fill the desire for labor in a country where land was plentiful and labor scarce. By the end of the 17th century, approximately 1,300,000 Africans had landed in the New World. From 1701 to 1810 the number reached 6,000,000, with another 1,800,000 arriving after 1810. Some Africans were brought directly to the English colonies in North America. Others landed as slaves in the West Indies and were later resold and shipped to the mainland. (African American History: Scholastic , n.d.) However many “black” colored individuals rather identify themselves with their family-related nationality rather than where they were born or raised. Some rather the term black when being identified and some rather be identified as African American. This is very complex. I know, myself, I do not like to identified as Black I prefer to identify myself and Haitian/Bahamian because I consider the Black culture as people who only speak English and are just Americans with darker colored skin, who eat American meals and have American traditions. I speak English and Creole, I eat Haitian meals and follow Haitian traditions. I was born in America but my parents and older sisters were born in Bahamas and had the Haitian culture bestowed in them so I identify as that. It is important for health service professionals to understand the history of how most Black/African Americans were brought to the Americas so they’d be able to establish a positive relationship with their patients. The best way to approach patients on the matter would be to just humbly ask the person how they identify themselves. (cultural compentency for the health professional)

 

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