Cultural Competency

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HLT 418V
Grand Canyon University
January 17, 2013

Cultural competency, what exactly is it? Does it have importance in society today and who has the capability to influence change if needed? Researching cultural competence you may find several definitions or interpretations’ depending on where the information is being gathered. Cultural competence refers to a combination of awareness, attitudes, skills and behaviors related to health care providers' ability to care for diverse groups of patient (U.S. News, 2013). Being a health care provider you’re very likely to encounter people of other cultures, beliefs, or religions other than your own. Based upon the current population trends in the United States, ‘The nation's minority population is steadily rising and now makes up 35 percent of the United States’ (Yen,2010).

Several barriers may influence cultural competency greatly; most commonly it will be ourselves and our lack of understanding or willingness to understand other cultures, their behaviors and beliefs when it comes to health care. Far to often we expect individuals/patients’ to succumb to our beliefs especially if false perception s are made about them culturally, they will make a poor decision based on their culture or ethnicity. Many health care providers have resources at their disposal to overcome obstacles which may be encountered those include, translators, training modules on cultural competency.

With our ever changing world teaching institutions are changing accordingly by adding courses to the curriculums. These are being added for student many other service providers focused on cultural competency, which, brings up a question is this a trait that can be learned? ‘One major problem with the idea of cultural competency is that it suggests culture can be reduced to a technical skill for which clinicians can be trained to develop expertise’(DelVecchio, 1995). Even as questions are being proposed about cultural competency by a few,...
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