Upholding high standards of cultural competence can become challenging for several reasons. Culture can significantly influence the patient’s beliefs, values, and health-related practices. Secondly, healthcare services are tailored to meet the needs of the majority of the general population’s culture, not all the cultural groups. Besides, assessment bias can occur where an improper interpretation of the patient’s culture happens, leading to misdiagnosis, particularly among the minority groups. As such, cultural competence entails an immense amount of respect, empathy, and curiosity, taking into consideration cultural diversities (Grandpierre, Milloy, Sikora, Fitzpatrick, Thomas, & Potter2018). It is essential to employ respect, empathy, and curiosity to every patient.
Cultures are dynamic and constantly evolving. The healthcare providers can have biased judgment, making assumptions of the patient. For instance, members of the LGBTQ + community often witness biased judgment in the healthcare facilities. Many healthcare clinics do not adapt to the cultural diversities of such people (Felsenstein 2018); resulting in communication challenges between a patient from such minority groups and the physician.
Biased judgment aris because people adapt to their worldview. However, it is essential for the healthcare workers to understand the cultural diversities of the patients, that not every patient visiting the facility share a similar culture. Applying cultural competency and awareness of the needs of the patients is necessary to ensure quality care and safety of the clients (Holstein 2019). Healthcare organizations should also make it easier to access medical forms in different languages and appropriate for various cultures to facilitate patient-physician communication. Also, ensure that healthcare staff are properly trained on cultures and can engage every patient without stereotyping them in any way.
Felsenstein, D. R. (2018). Enhancing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender cultural competence in a Midwestern primary care clinic setting. Journal for nurses in professional development, 34(3), 142.
Grandpierre, V., Milloy, V., Sikora, L., Fitzpatrick, E., Thomas, R., & Potter, B. (2018). Barriers and facilitators to cultural competence in rehabilitation services: a scoping review. BMC health services research, 18(1), 23.
Holstein, J. (2019). Cultural Competence for Health Professionals: Instrument Development (Vol. 137). Linköping University Electronic Press.