* Based upon current evidence-based research, explain how cultural competence improves health outcomes.
* Identify the differences between cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity, and cultural competence.
* Discuss why geographic regions, such as Appalachia, are often associated with a particular culture.
Below is a list of five cultural factors that can have a significant impact on health outcomes. For each factor, give an example of how a particular culture (for example Mexican Americans) may affect the health and development of a pediatric patient.
– Health Beliefs
– Health Customs
– Religious Beliefs
– Dietary Customs
* Conduct a brief cultural self-assessment that includes:
– What culture do you identify with?
– How does your culture view diversity?
– Explain the impact of your culture on healthcare decisions.
– Explain how your culture views the dying process.
– Are there any particular customs, foods, holidays, and beliefs that strongly represent your culture?
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Basically in healthcare cultural competence means delivering effective and quality care to patients despite their diverse beliefs, values, attitudes and behavior (Handtke et al., 2019). Cultural competence requires the establishment of different systems that can personalize healthcare according to linguistic and cultural differences of patients. Cultural competence also requires the understanding of the potential impact of cultural differences among patients in healthcare delivery .Different aspects of culture can affect healthcare delivery significantly including how patients perceive specific conditions and symptoms, how they seek health care their expectations of care and their preferences relating to treatments and procedures among other factors (Handtke et al., 2019).
According to Jongen et al., (2018) competence improves health care outcomes by helping to break down barriers that get in the way of patients receiving the care that they require. Cultural competence also boosts the understanding between patients and their healthcare providers which plays a significant role in improving patient outcomes. Cultural competence also improves health outcomes by offering frameworks and pathways that patients can utilize to reach the goals of better health. Through cultural competence healthcare facilities can therefore be able to offer linguistically and culturally appropriate services that effectively respond to the individual preferences of patients and the needs of such patients. Cultural competence therefore helps to improve the outcomes of patients by making healthcare more effective, respectful and understandable (Jongen et al., 2018).
Differences between Cultural Awareness, Cultural Sensitivity, and Cultural Competence
Cultural awareness can be defined as recognizing the nuances of one’s specific culture and that of others. Cultural sensitivity can be described as having knowledge, awareness and acceptance of other cultural identities and cultures. On the other hand cultural competence can be defined as the ability of an individual to use experiential academic and interpersonal skills so as to actively increase their understanding and appreciation for cultural similarities and differences between different groups (Handtke et al., 2019). Through cultural awareness one is therefore able to understand their own culture while utilizing cultural sensitivity to allow one to acknowledge the similarities and differences between their culture and those of others and accept such differences. Cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity are both a part of cultural competence which are the skills needed to effectively collaborate and communicate with other cultures (Jongen et al., 2018).
Association of Geographic Regions with Culture
Geographic regions such as Appalachia are often associated with a particular culture because some geographic features such as mountains can play a significant role in isolating some regions from the rest of the country. This can result in people who live in a given geographic region to develop a distinctive culture from the common culture in other parts of the country. The geographic features of a place can therefore limit its association with a larger population and result in people living in a particular area having their own culture such as Appalachia (Smalls et al., 2021).
Cultural Factors Impacting Health
Culture can have a significant effect on the health and development of pediatric patient. For instance in the Hispanic Latino culture there are prevalent health beliefs which include fatalism and the classification of diseases as either hot or cold .The fatalistic view of diseases therefore includes perceiving diseases as punishment from God as a result of past misdeeds or sins (Oh et al., 2020). Among individuals from the Hispanic culture some parents can therefore view illnesses of their children as a form of punishment from God for their sins. Among Hispanics the general health believes include classifying diseases as an imbalance between two humors which include hot and cold. For instance in a pediatric patient hot diseases include Diarrhea and fever while cold diseases include common cold. In the Hispanic culture cold disease require hot remedies and medications, while hot diseases require cold remedies medications and foods (Oh et al., 2020).
The main health customs in the Hispanic culture include a significant reliance on folk medicine. Before a pediatric patient is brought to a regular health care facility there is a significant chance that the parents might try consulting traditional healers and using remedies such as herbs. Among Hispanic people pediatric patients might therefore be at a high risk of adverse reaction between regular medication and herbs especially in instances where parents do not report the use of any form of folk medicine (Amirehsani et al., 2017).
In the Hispanic culture religious beliefs such as fatalism and the Christian Catholic faith dominate the perception of health and illness. During times of illness some individuals in the Hispanic culture can therefore view such illnesses as a punishment from God. The use of prayer and magicoreligious instruments such as candles and angel sculptures is therefore prevalent. For a pediatric patient the parents might consistently involve priests during illnesses and bring magico-religious instruments in healthy environment in a bid to enhance the healing experience (Oh et al., 2020).
In the Hispanic culture the diet is made up of a lot of carbohydrates such as bread. In the Hispanic culture food is also prepared with a lot of oil which can contribute to being overweight. The dietary customs of the Hispanic culture therefore expose a pediatric patient to lifestyle conditions such as obesity and contribute significantly to negative health outcomes (Amirehsani et al., 2017).
Generally I identify with the white American culture which is significantly shaped by the Judeo-Christian beliefs. The central principles of Judeo-Christian belief include freedom believe in God and respect for others. In the US the Judeo-Christian beliefs therefore form the foundation of the nation and form part of the dominant culture (Edwards, 2021).
My culture is quite accommodative of diversity and is open to a diverse way of approaching life and freedom to associate with any culture. The accommodating aspect of the white American culture therefore made the US the most diverse and welcoming country in the world.
Generally the white American culture relies on Western medicine as the main guideline in making healthcare decisions. In my culture individuals are encouraged to frequently go for checkups and seek professional advice from physicians or healthcare practitioners when making healthcare decisions (Edwards, 2021).
The white culture views the dying process as a transition from one form of life to another. The Judeo-Christian beliefs that form the foundation of the white culture are therefore based on the concept of life after death. In the white culture the process of death and dying is a time for family members and any individual members to bid farewell to a loved one in the hope of meeting with them in another life.
The white culture has many holidays and beliefs that strongly represent its Judeo-Christian origins these include Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. During these holidays family and friends is therefor come together to celebrate and share with each other which is one of the most important cultural elements of the White culture.
Amirehsani, K. A., Hu, J., Wallace, D. C., Silva, Z. A., Dick, S., West-Livingston, L. N., & Hussami, C. R. (2017). US Healthcare Experiences of Hispanic Patients with Diabetes and Family Members: A Qualitative Analysis. Journal of Community Health Nursing, 34(3), 126–135. https://doi.org/10.1080/07370016.2017.1340556
Edwards, M. (2021). Imagining Judeo-Christian America: Religion, Secularism, and the Redefinition of Democracy. Journal of American History, 107(4), 1036–1037. https://doi.org/10.1093/jahist/jaaa530
Handtke, O., Schilgen, B., & Mösko, M. (2019). Culturally competent healthcare – A scoping review of strategies implemented in healthcare organizations and a model of culturally competent healthcare provision. PLOS ONE, 14(7), e0219971. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0219971
Jongen, C., McCalman, J., & Bainbridge, R. (2018). Health workforce cultural competency interventions: a systematic scoping review. BMC Health Services Research, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-018-3001-5
Oh, H., Trinh, M. P., Vang, C., & Becerra, D. (2020). Addressing Barriers to Primary Care Access for Latinos in the U.S.: An Agent-Based Model. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 11(2), 165–184. https://doi.org/10.1086/708616
Smalls, B. L., Adegboyega, A., Combs, E., Rutledge, M., Westgate, P. M., Azam, M. T., de la Barra, F., Williams, L. B., & Schoenberg, N. E. (2021). The mediating/moderating role of cultural context factors on self-care practices among those living with diabetes in rural Appalachia. BMC Public Health, 21(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-11777-7