December 9, 2012
Emerging Standards of Care
Diversity is exhibited in many ways, including a multiplicity of upbringing, dress, thought, lifestyle, values, food preferences, family relationships, and in gender, ethnicity, and age. These factors exist throughout the gamut of health care patients and the interactions designed with the nurses who care for them. Diversity in healthcare refers to the cultural setting in how the patient lives and in some measure defining their connection to healing, health, and their own role in the nurse to patient relationship (University of Phoenix, 2012). In many ways, the United States landscape is changing, especially in the health care field. The Baby Boomers are reaching an age where they are going to need and use more health care assistance, Generation Y and the Nexters are entering into the ages to begin working careers, and are bringing different behaviors and value sets with them. In the middle of all of these changes are the nurses and their care. Factors that play an influential role in the delivery of nursing care to the ever changing landscape are not only the diversity of the patient but the ability of the nurse to provide effective and culturally competent care (University of Phoenix, 2012). Standards of Cultural Competence
American nurses are predominately made of white females and does not honestly indicate the diverse population they serve. The push for more minority students to be recruited into the schools of nursing is big, but because of the culture of the profession being made up of middle class, white values, the minority nursing students are facing a barrier; racism. In nursing education, there is an emphasis on cultural competence. Being culturally competent means having the ability to care for patients with different cultures and backgrounds competently. This is otherwise known as transcultural nursing. An essential part of the nursing syllabus, transcultural nursing eliminates the racism shadow that has been portrayed all these years as normal. Transcultural nursing emphasizes nursing capabilities in providing culturally specific care to a diverse patient population. Cultural competence refers to studying and practicing nursing, focusing on the similarities and differences among the cultures with respect to nursing care and patient health. Cultural competence can also be defined as “the ability to provide effective clinical care for a particular ethnic or racial group and is seldom seen as the ability to reach a culturally diverse student population with varying perspectives on health and illness and female roles” (Wilby, 2009, p. 58). Culturally competent standards in healthcare are set as ethnic or racial differences in the quality of care not discriminated against. There are two levels of non-discrimination. The first is within the operation of the healthcare system and the way the system functions following regulatory and legal pathways. The second is at the provider-patient level, or the individual’s levels. Discrimination is described as the way care is given based on prejudices, biases, and stereotyping. Another type of discrimination is on the patient level with the provider. An example, a minority patient refuses service recommendations based on the result of a cultural mismatch between the patient and the care provider. This type of behavior can also result from misuse of clinical services such as when a test is not clinically indicated but given anyway (a pregnancy test on all females over the age of 12 regardless) (Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, 2003). Culturally Competent Care within Memorial Hermann Healthcare Systems Memorial Hermann Healthcare System (MHHS) is dedicated to the purpose of assisting the communities, patients, employees, and physicians they serve in a responsible, legal, and ethical fashion. Furthermore, they are loyal in rendering aid to their...