Cultural Sensitivity - Essay Example

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The author of this essay "Cultural Sensitivity" focuses on the phenomenon of cultural sensitivity. It is mentioned here that cross-cultural research has grown dramatically in the modern world, and it mainly focuses on issues affecting linguistic and ethnic minorities…
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Cultural Sensitivity
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Download file to see previous pages Health care disparities encompass inequalities in regards to rank, social status and age. Disparities in the health care system are closely linked to equity. There are various factors that lead to the differences among individuals.
The US population is highly multi-ethnic, and it is mandatory to understand the various cultures (Diller, 10). In spite of the advancements made in the health care system, there are increasing differences in health status among Hispanics, Native Americans, African Americans, Haitians, Jamaicans and Pacific Islanders (Diller, 10). Additionally, the challenges facing the healthcare sector have increased over the years as the population becomes more ethnically diverse. The future of the health care system in the US will be influenced significantly by advancements in ethnic minorities.
The composition of the US population has been changing dramatically over the years. This is true from the statistics shown by the recent studies conducted on the population. In the past decade, there was a relative increase in ethnic groups as follows: non-Hispanic White 5.5%, African American, 16.4%, Hispanic, 65.3% and Pacific Islanders 123.5% (Diller, 11). If this development continues in the future, the number of ethnic minorities will continue rising. Statistics from the census conducted in 2000 reinforce this argument. This further emphasizes the need for cultural competency in the health care system. The table below shows the expected figures by 2042 (Diller, 11).
Composition of the US population
Ethnic group
2009 (%)
2050 projections (%)
Native Americans
1.6
2.0
Asians
5
9
Hispanics
15
30
Non- Hispanic Whites
66
46
Source: Diller, 12
There are five key challenges facing health practitioners in ensuring cultural sensitivity. The main challenge is communication; different ethnic groups have their native languages and hence may not communicate fluently in English. This calls for the need of interpreters for various languages (Weinstein, 447). Secondly, patients from different groups are conservative and are reluctant to talk about sexual matters and other personal problems. Thirdly, there exist clinical differences among the different ethnic groups, for example, the prevalence to some diseases including hypertension and diabetes. The fourth challenge is ethics; Medical practitioners should have respect for different cultures and beliefs while handling their patients. Last but not least is the problem of trust; Patients from different ethnic groups tend to be afraid of the figures in authority and fail to trust the care givers in hospitals.
The issue of cultural diversity in the health care sector is here to stay, and there are numerous solutions to the problems emanating from this diversity. Health care providers should ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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