1-I agree without meaning to, it is easy to stereotype cultures and become narrow minded. Great advice on how to become culturally competent. There are so many resources in our world today. I believe we are moving more towards expanding our minds and learning about other cultures. This does influence how patients seek treatment.
2-Yes, very true post. I have encountered patients just nodding their heads when talking to them. Many of my Spanish speaking patients do this. They don’t know that I speak Spanish. I always ask them if they understand English, if they don’t then I will talk to them in Spanish. I have became a little rusty in speaking Spanish because I don’t speak it often, since the passing of my father. Making sure they understand what I am explaining to them is always my goal. I never rely on any family members to translate for me because family members tend to leave out a lot of information that the patient may need to understand what I’m talking about. If a patient speaks another language then I’d always try to find information for them and their language which and I get the interpreter to translate for me. I believe being culturally competent is very important. As I mentioned before, if we understand our patients and they understand us, then treatment plans will be followed and better patient outcomes will come out of it.
3-Good examples. I too, have worked with both the Asian and Amish cultures and I have witnessed the behaviors you noted. It occurred to me that there are so many different cultures and beliefs, it would be difficult to have a complete understanding of all cultures. Therefore, empathy as you mentioned and respect for one another is important. When we show respect we will gain their trust and be able to deliver the best care while involving the patient and their family.