Improving Cultural Competence – Care Example

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"Improving Cultural Competence" is a peculiar example of a paper on care. Christy can better improve her  relation  with Romani patients or any other patient with different cultural values by increasing her understanding of cultural diversity and competence. The  latter pertains  to set of values,   behaviors, norms,   and practices of a community or system that empower a medical practitioner to effectively and efficiently work with  other persons with different cultural orientation and lifestyles  while  seeking healthcare  (Galanti, 1997). This invites  the practitioner to be dynamic, tolerant, and to adopt such commitment to continually reduce prejudices and biases against any patient. Christy needs to be aware that peoples  are made up of systems and beliefs that are maybe different from her own and that they practice customary health care not attuned to modern medication.   These peoples also possessed  of  customary beliefs  about  the  causes  of illnesses and thus reject medical diagnosis as disadvantageous and unhelpful for their patients.

Some of them perceived that medicines can in the long run cause death  or may  poison the human system, thus, they’ d prefer the use of herbal medication (Gropper,   1996).    Reflection  on cultural competence  From this activity, I learned that not all people are similar and that we all have varied educational backgrounds, customary practices, belief systems, and different approaches to healthcare.

Those who came from communities, especially those from remote villages and those indigenous peoples, grow up with knowledge on the traditional method of medication. Hence, prefer herbal medication and are superstitious in their responses to modern healthcare.     As a medical practitioner, I still need too to increase my cultural competence  too to  be able to  exercise  my profession  well  while  practicing  due diligence  and  my  professional  path. Medical practice needs to be  applied  free from political, economic, and social prejudices. It maybe takes some time to educate the community about the leading causes of their mortality, morbidity, and the need to introduce maternal and childcare  system, but the same should be perpetually undertaken until they can understand holistic healthcare service (Gerteis, Edgman-Levitan, Daley,   &   Delbanco,   1993).   Medical practitioners after all are not just merely influenced  and educated about courses  on  modern sciences but also about social  disciplines  to enable us to understand the psychology, philosophy, and sociological influences  of a  patient  (Iwaishi,   Taba, Howard-Jones, Brockman,   Yamashita, & Ambrose, 1998).     Our profession is about saving lives and that does not require preconception and ignorance.   Healthcare is  in itself borderless  and crosscut to all cultures.     Improving cultural competence  To improve our cultural competence, healthcare providers should be educated on multiculturalism and about social diversity  to understand the social factors that govern the psyche and culture of people  (Julia, 1996).  They should be subjected to an immersion program too where they will stay with the community to understand fully  peoples’   culture and influences.

Through this, theory and practices can be integrated  well  and understanding can be widened. Aside from this, medical practitioners also need to study  psychology to correlate the application of  profession to the  behavioral  and attitudinal pattern of every patient and thus, in a way, nurture the values of tolerance and deference.   Otherwise,   there  will be misunderstanding and conflict that will compromise and weaken the American healthcare system  (Galanti, 1997).  


Galanti, G.A. (1997).  Caring for Patients from Different Cultures:  Case Studies from American Hospitals.  University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia. pp. 1-187.

Gerteis, M., Edgman-Levitan, S., Daley, J., Delbanco, TL (Eds.) (1993), Through the patient’s eyes: understanding and promoting patient-centered care. Jossey-Bass ublishers, San Francisco, California, pp 1-280.

Gropper, R. (1996).  Culture and the Clinical Encounter: An Intercultural Sensitizer for the Health Professions. Intercultural Press, Yarmouth, Maine, pp. 1-10.

Iwaishi,L, Taba, S., Howard-Jones, A., Brockman, D., Yamashita, L, & Ambrose, A.  (1998). Training on family-centered interprofessional collaboration. Health Education Collaboration Project,  Hawaii Medical Association, pp. 2-10.

Julia, M. (1996).  Multicultural Awareness in the HealthCare Professions. Allyn and Bacon, Boston. pp. 2-224.

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