We live in a very diverse nation and overcoming challenges related to cultural beliefs and preferences is a very common obstacle for health care workers today. In an article in The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing cultural diversity is defined as being more than just race,
Health care workers must realize that addressing cultural diversity goes beyond knowing the values, beliefs, practices and customs of African Americans, Asians, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans/Alaskan Natives, and Pacific islanders. In addition to racial classification and national origin, there are many other faces of cultural diversity. Religious affiliation, language, physical size, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability (both physical and mental), political orientation, socio-economic status, occupational status and geographical location are but a few of the faces of diversity. (Camphina-Bacote, 2003)
Health care workers have to diligently accommodate the many needs of all the individuals they encounter. These needs range from diverse deep cultural backgrounds, varying learning styles and learning preferences, and mixed opinions defining health and well being. Language barriers may also be a hardship for health care workers to overcome.
An example of how health care workers can overcome differing points of view would be demonstrated in their ability to accommodate to the specific needs of the patient. For example a Hispanic patient who is a Jehovah’s Witness and only speaks Spanish has been ignoring abnormal signs and
References: Chang, M., & Kelly, A. (2007). Patient Education: Addressing Cultural Diversity and Health Literacy Issues. 27(5), 411-417. Retrieved from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/564667 Singleton, K., & Krause, E. (2009). Understanding Cultural and Linguistic Barriers to Health Literacy. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 4(3), Retrieved from http://www.nursingworld.org/mainmenucategories/anamarketplace/anaperiodicals/ojin/tableofcontents/vol142009/no3sept09/cultural-and-linguistic-barriers-.html