Emerging Standards of Culturally Competent Care
NUR/531 University of Phoenix
Emerging Standards of Care: Cultural Competence
The current U.S. population exhibits unparalleled sociocultural and ethnic diversity, yet the nursing workforce fails to reflect the current state of the nation’s diversity. According to Clark, Calvillo, Fongwa, Kools, Dela Cruz, Lowe, and Mastel-Smith (2011) non-Hispanic Whites constitute 83.2% of the nursing workforce, although Hispanics, African Americans, ...view middle of the document...
Nurses must be careful not to categorize specific cultures as a set of traits, and use those traits to form their assessments and plan of care, which only leads to stereotyping and misinterpretation (Clark et al, 2011). Whether a nurse is caring for a person from a different culture or working with peers of different beliefs and values, individualized standards apply. Delivering culturally competent care entails promotion of the principles of social justice. According to the American Nurses Association (2001) “respect for the inherent worth, dignity, and human rights of every individual is a fundamental principle that underlies all nursing practice” (pg. 1). These principles model the standards in providing culturally competent care, and guide nurses’ decisions pertaining to patient care.
Importance of Cultural Competency
It is important that nurses recognize their own beliefs and values, and how it influences their interactions with patients, families, and colleagues. This can be challenging for nurses when dealing with such a diverse patient population. However, it is crucial that nurses examine their beliefs and educate one’s self in transcultural nursing and its impact on patient outcomes.
It is essential that nursing and other health care workers be knowledgeable on the various cultural groups in their communities. Southern California, for example, has a diverse population of Hispanics, Asians, Whites, African Americans, and other ethnic backgrounds. Another group of patients are those of the gay and lesbian community, which can be challenging if a nurse’s beliefs differ than those of their patient’s. Also if a nurse work for a Catholic institution, this can cause conflict as the state’s laws and religious viewpoints vary, regarding issues such as birth control. Currently, with communities and workforce becoming more diverse, health care organizations need to ensure their staff is given the tools necessary to provide culturally sensitive care.
The federal government is also making strides in ensuring that disparities in health care are eliminated by identifying vulnerable populations and enacting plans to address racial and ethnic inequalities in health care across our nation. According to the Department of Health and Human Services or HHS (2011) it has been shown that variances in patient outcomes “that are closely linked to social, economic, and environmental disadvantage-are often driven by the social conditions in which individuals live, learn, work and play” (pg. 1). The Department of Health and Human Services has initiated the HHS Disparities Action Plan that coordinates with other agencies to reach its goal of promoting health equality using provisions set forth from Healthy People 2020 and the Affordable Care Act (HHS, 2011). According to HHS (2011), ethnic groups like Hispanics, African Americans Asian Americans, and American Indians experience higher mortality rates than other ethnic groups. Initiative...