February 27, 2012
Emerging Standards of Care, page 2 Emerging standards regarding culturally competent care is very important in the health care field. Nurses need to understand and care for individuals with varying cultural beliefs and behaviors about health and well being which is shaped by race, ethnicity, nationality, language, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and occupation. Cultural competent health care is a type of care which is provided to the patient by the health care worker being responsive to varying attitudes or different attitudes and values, verbal cues, and non verbal cues of the patient (Goldsmith, 2012). Cultural competence includes understanding the individual’s needs specific to their cultural environment which can also include individuals with mental health issues. Patients with mental health issues require the nurse to be capable of providing understanding of their unique characteristics and needs. The key to cultural competence in health care includes the care provider to be aware of their own beliefs in regards to culture and to understand and appreciate the differences that we all have as members of different ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic groups. This awareness can be achieved by being in tune with your own beliefs and attitudes. This can prevent a care giver from providing different care because of assumptions, biases, and stereotypes (unknown, 2012). Although there have been many changes in the care of mental health patients the stigma of mental illness still exists and many individuals do not understand the issues which patients with mental health problems may encounter. There are five essential elements that can help an agency or institution become more culturally competent, these may include:...