Emerging Standards of Care
Sheena Kristine Ascano
March 9, 2015
Emerging Standards of Care
Living in an ethnically diverse nation, almost every health care system has a strategic plan implemented to achieve diversity and cultural competence when providing care to the public. According to the “U.S. Department of Health and Human Services” (2013) website, “newly enhanced standards such as the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) will help organizations improve quality of care and reduce health disparities in serving our nation’s diverse communities” (“U.S. Department of Health and Human Services”, 2013). As a registered nurse, it is important to work in an environment where cultural competence is evident because it increases the level of comfort between patients and providers that results in efficient treatment and care. This paper will discuss the cultural competency and diversity in my workplace, the population being served and their specific health vulnerabilities, and the impact of delivery of nursing care. Organization’s Cultural Competence Standards I am currently working at a public hospital in San Mateo County that consist of outpatient clinics with medical imaging and laboratory services, 64 bed General Medical-Surgical unit, seven bed General Medical Intensive Care Unit, and long-term care facilities. The emergency department in our facility provides 24-hour emergency care. Unfortunately, we do not have a Trauma Center, so transfer services are provided for patients requiring highly specialized care and treatment. I currently work in the Intensive Care Unit, which cares for patients with critical care conditions that includes stroke, respiratory distress, sepsis, and life-threatening arrhythmias. According to Cowen and Moorhead (2011), “one of the significant challenges for nursing is to meet the cultural needs of a growing cultural group in America” (Cowen and Moorhead, 2011, p.522). Working in a healthcare field, it is important to have the ability to appreciate and embrace diversity of patients’ values, attitudes, and beliefs because it establishes a respectful relationship with others. An internal standard of Cultural Competence is evident in my facility and states that the goal is to treat patients in ways that respect and account for their cultural and linguistic backgrounds. In an effort to address the cultural competence of the organization, several programs were tailored to meet the needs of the San Mateo County residents. In comparison to the National Center for Cultural Competence Standards (2015) website, most of the cultural competence are achieved under the organization’s internal standard of Cultural Competence. This includes staff training, community involvement, and language access. For example, in terms of recruitment and hiring process, it was stated that the organization will promote, at all levels of the organization, a diverse medical and support staff that represents a demographic characteristic of the hospital’s patient population that can communicate with patients in their primary language. In terms of staff training, the hospital does an excellent performance on providing an ongoing, education, and training in culturally and linguistically appropriate delivery. This includes the use of medical interpreter at the bedside direct patient care. The hospital also promotes components of cultural diversity and sensitivity to hospital orientation and provides an annual competency to employees. An in-depth information, training and resources available are discussed in hospital orientation to enhance multicultural knowledge and proficiency when interacting with patients. According to the National Center for Cultural Competence (2015) Policy Brief 4 for Culturally Competent Strategies for Engaging Diverse Communities, “healthcare organizations should give careful consideration...
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