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Characteristics - Essay Example

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Culturally competent care is a responsibility taken up by doctors and other people in the medical profession that they will be considerate towards the different attitudes of patients and respect their cultural beliefs and backgrounds, while keeping them under treatment. The…
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Characteristics Characteristics Culturally competent care is a responsibility taken up by doctors and other people in the medical profession that they will be considerate towards the different attitudes of patients and respect their cultural beliefs and backgrounds, while keeping them under treatment. The patient wants the doctor to understand his or her values and virtues, and provide them medical care accordingly. Cultural competency comes as a difficult task for many doctors as they have familiarized themselves with different cultural backgrounds, so that communication between them and the patients become easier, and the best possible way of treatment can be acknowledged.
A number of nurses and doctors find patients’ culture as an obstacle to treatment. They believe that they, health practitioners, have been trained to know what is best for the patient and tradional beliefs amongst patients should not be encouraged. Science should be the basis on which medicine is supposed to be practiced. Practitioners also argue that the health of the patient should be given top priority, and not their cultural backgrounds or beliefs. (Toni Tripp-Reimer, Lisa Skemp Kelley)
Another problem with cultural competency is that it degrades the cultural teachings to a mere technical subject, which the medical practitioners have to learn. Furthermore, the lack of diversity in the hospitals and the medical profession as a whole, leads to a lack of cultural competency care. Nurses or doctors might appear a little indifferent or unknowingly rude to a patient of a different ethnicity. The patients might notice this as a lack of sensitivity on the practitioner’s part and from there on, the communication bridge starts to break down. Also, the systems in the health care service are not up to the mark and do not meet the needs of people of different cultural backgrounds and ethnicities (Joseph R. Betancourt, Alexander R. Green and J. Emilio Carrillo. 2002).
Consoling a family in grief and leading them through an adaptive process can be a challenging task for the medical practitioners, especially the nurses. This requires substantial knowledge of different cultural backgrounds, so that there is no breakdown of communication. A lack of respect for someone else’s cultural beliefs comes off as a great hindrance, and does not help the whole consoling process. If a nurse or doctor is familiar with the cultural beliefs or shows respect for people of different ethnicities, he/she can aid a family through the grieving process. But if there is a fine line drawn between two different cultures or two distinct members of the society, then a communication gap is established and the practitioner is unable to support the devastated family. Therefore, in order to be skilled at comforting families in a time of sorrow, the nurses or doctors need to narrow the communication gap between them and the family, if there exists one. Moreover, showing proper and formal behavior while consoling a family, is a sign of respect which is appreciated. Respecting everyone’s values and beliefs, helps a great deal in the whole adaptive process. (Marian H. Jarrett, Lorelei Emma 2008)
References
Betancourt, J. R., Green, A. R., & Carrillo, J. E. (n.d.). CULTURAL COMPETENCE IN
HEALTH CARE: EMERGING FRAMEWORKS AND PRACTICAL APPROACHES. Retrieved from http://www.commonwealthfund.org/usr_doc/betancourt_culturalcompetence_576.p
Cultural Barriers to Care: Inverting the Problem . (n.d.). Diabetes Spectrum . Retrieved from
http://spectrum.diabetesjournals.org/content/14/1/13.full
Jarrett, M. H., & Emma, L. (n.d.). Communication Across Cultures. ommunicAcrossCultures.
Retrieved from www.infantva.org/documents/coag-19-CommunicAcrossCultures.ppt Read More
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