Core Concepts in Cultural Competence
Key Concepts (printable)
|Cultural Competence | | | | |Definition: |Cultural Competence is a set of values, behaviors, attitudes and practices within a system, organization, program or among | | |individuals that enables them to work effectively across cultures. Cultural competence refers to the ability to honor and respect | | |the beliefs, language, interpersonal styles and behaviors or children and families receiving medical care, as well as those of the | | |staff who are providing such care. Cultural competence is a dynamic, ongoing developmental process that requires a long term | | |commitment and is achieved over time. | | | | |Examples: |Examine Cultural Competence in the following examples: | | |Example 1: Maria Hernandez arrives late for her appointment, and explains that she spent a few hours with her elderly aunt on the | | |way to her appointment. The nurse, Ella, greets Maria warmly and comments on Maria’s devotion to her family. Ella understands that | | |in the Hispanic community, caring for family often comes before an individual need such as an appointment. | | |Example 2: When Gina, the social worker, enters an examining room she is already alert to the fact that the family she is meeting | | |may have views about healthcare that are different than her own. She inquires about the family’s beliefs, drawing on her knowledge | | |of the culture, but primarily interested in what the family tells her about their unique views. | | |Example 3: Fred, the pharmacist, becomes frustrated with an Asian family who has been using herbal remedies. With great authority, | | |he tells them that they are “doing the wrong thing.” Fred is not behaving in a culturally competent manner. | | | | |Application: |When meeting a patient or family for the first time, be aware that their beliefs and practices may differ from your own. Try to | | |learn as much as you can about the family's life and how they view the world. | | | | | | | |Culture | | | | |Definition: |Culture is defined as the sum of one's beliefs, rituals, customs and practices that guide thinking, decisions and actions in a | | |patterned way. They are learned throughout a lifetime and passed on through generations....
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