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Cultural Diversity in Health Care

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Healthcare Diversity

Shuness Martin

Grand Canyon University – HCA 455

June 28, 2015

During the course of life and without regards to race, health care goods and services are crucial to prolonging and human life. Health care or healthcare can be defined as “the management and prevention of illness, infection, injury, or any other mental or physical infirmity, in an effort to increase a patient’s overall health” (The Online Medical Dictionary, 2015). Health care differs across ethnic, racial, and religious boarders, therefore providers and professionals must tailor care and treatment to a patients individual health care needs.

Diversity in Health Care

Diversity (cultural diversity) in health care is essential to eliminating inequities in the quality, as well as the accessibility of health care and treatment (American Dental Education Association , 2010). In order for health care providers and professionals to effectively treat different communities and groups of people, they need to recognize how culture influences the way individuals interact with health care. Cultural diversity impacts not only the way one interacts with health care but it also impacts ones belief of birth, life, death, and illness and injury. Diversity is imperative as it is the means for providers and professionals to prevent serious health problems or complications, due to the relationship the patient has with the provider/ professional. When diversity becomes a central part of care and treatment, positive health outcomes are more likely to because the patients individual and cultural needs are taken into consideration when creating care plans.  If health care providers and professionals apply the same care to each patient, the health care requirements of another patient are left out. This leaves patients[a] dissatisfied with the care they received, and damages the provider-patient relationship.

Cultural Competence

According to the American Academy of Family Practices cultural competence is the “knowledge, skills, attitudes and beliefs that aid health care providers and professionals in working well with patients who are culturally different” (American Academy of Family Practices, 2014). Cultural competence eliminates discrimination, stereotyping, and bias on behalf of the provider or professional. These are the things that do not allow providers or professionals to provide the best care for a patient. In order for a provider or professional to reach full cultural competence they need three basic principles: cultural awareness, cultural knowledge, cultural skills (Chandra, 2012). Cultural awareness is c a series of actions to self-examine one’s own prejudices towards other cultures. Cultural knowledge, is a technique healthcare providers and professional(s) use to obtain an academics regarding different cultures. Cultural skills assist health care professionals and providers in evaluating cultural data pertaining to each patient, in an effort to provide the best possible care.

Diversity Management

Diversity management is a concept used to create and continue diversity in a work environment. The idea typically presented by Human Resources and controlled by supervisors, managers and leaders.  A successful diversity management program will main respect for individual differences between employees. This style of management is used to ensure that employees feel some comfort with diversity in the work environment, and improve the appreciation for dissimilarities in characteristics that other employees do not share (Diversity Inc., 2012). The ultimate goal of diversity management is to promote acceptance in the workplace. While individuals hold their own values and morals, this type of management style inspires people to acknowledge that everyone is not the same. Employees are encourage to put aside their prejudices and understand that diverse values, physical and emotional aspects are present throughout their work environment. Furthermore, understanding that diversity in the workplace has no effect on performance or productivity, instead diversity helps organizations complete tasks and goals.

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