The effectiveness of diversity and cultural competence training for health care professionals

Theeffectiveness of diversity and cultural competence training forhealth care professionals




Theeffectiveness of diversity and cultural competence training forhealth care professionals


Accordingto Avila, Kamon &amp Beatson, (2016), cultural competence refers toa combination of cultural attitudes and behaviors that areincorporated into the practice methods of a given agency, system orits employees so that they can work efficiently in cross-culturalsituations. It is also important to note that cultural competence isattained by transforming and integrating the knowledge of individualsor a given group of people into structured and defined policies andpractices that are used in appropriate cultural settings. Therefore,diversity and cultural competence amongst medical practitioners playa substantial role in creating positive and constructiverelationships by engaging the client. Additionally, it enhances thequality of services provided. In light of this task, the researchpaper seeks to discuss the effectiveness of diversity and culturalcompetence for health care professionals. On the same note, the paperwill also discuss how language barrier and lack of sufficientmeasures have affected implementation of diversity and culturalcompetence.

Owiti,Ajaz, Ascoli, Jongh, Palinski, &amp Bhui (2014), argue thatdiversity and cultural competence training for health careprofessionals is designed to improve the quality of services offeredat healthcare facilities. In this case, medical practitioners areenlightened on the cultural beliefs and practices of various racialgroups, their attitudes towards healthcare, as well as the impact ofdifferent diseases in their respective areas where they serve.Equally, the training is meant to improve their communication skillsand enhance self-awareness when dealing with people from diverseethnic groups. Besides, it is essential for medical practitioners torespect and have a sense of compassion towards people from differentracial groups for them to incorporate cultural competence into theirpractice. Doing so will considerably minimize health disparities andensure that optimal care is provided to patients regardless of theirreligious or cultural beliefs, native language, ethnic background orrace (Owiti et al. 2014). Diversity and cultural competence iseffective and works in the following scenarios.

2.0International adoptions

Understandably,diversity and cultural competence training for health careprofessionals is a critical aspect of any multicultural society(Truong, Paradies &amp Priest, 2014). Parents who have adoptedchildren might face challenges in trying to comprehend their values,norms, beliefs and way of living. In this case, diversity andcultural competence training for health care professionals isapplied. The medical practitioners will help adoptive parents tounderstand the child’s cultural heritage. That will enable theparents to come up with various activities which will be used to keepand perpetuate the child’s culture. As a result, the assimilationprocess fosters the child’s sense of identity subsequently makingthe adoption be a smooth and happier experience for both the adoptiveparents and the child (Truong et al. 2014).

3.0Healthcare professionals are able to work with different groups

Diversityand cultural competence training for health care professionals playsa significant role in widening their knowledge, skills, andexperience so that they can approach and handle different groups froma more informed and diverse perspective. Here, the medics cansuccessfully address issues of the disabled, lesbians, gays,transgender people as well as the bisexuals. Therefore, with theexperience and knowledge on cultural competence, health careprofessionals become more efficient in executing their duties andsatisfying the needs of their patients.

Also,communities such as the Asian Americans value their families and theyrely on them as their primary source of support (McLoyd, 2016). Because of that, patients from that cultural group tend to tend to besecretive and hence opt to keep health challenges that they may befacing within their families instead of sharing them with otherpeople for appropriate actions or solutions. A culturally competenthealth care practitioner will use his or her skills acquired from thetraining to brief and task-oriented therapy which will help themachieve their concrete objectives rather than providing them withtraditional Western-style treatment which is more I individualisticand analytical (McLoyd, 2016).

Onthe same note, African Americans also come from backgrounds that areeither have a strong community-oriented spiritual life or those whichinclude extended family bonds (Burkett, Morris, Manning-Courtney,Anthony &amp Shambley-Ebron, 2015). In this case, culturallycompetent healthcare professionals will ensure that their culturalpractices become part and parcel of their therapy. For instance, theycan include their families in the therapy. That demonstrates theeffectiveness of diversity and cultural competence training forhealth care professionals (Burkett et al. 2015). It is alsoimportant to note that diversity and cultural competence training iseffective in the following ways.

4.0Enhances patient satisfaction

Ordinarily,diversity and cultural competence training for health careprofessionals is fundamental to achieving high-qualitypatient-centered care services. For example, Patient with chronicconditions requires more specialized attention and care fromhealthcare practitioners (Truong et al. 2014). Because of that,offering training to the medical professionals on diversity andcultural competence will considerably improve the possibility of thepatients having better healthcare services. Apart from that, culturalcompetence results in social benefits, for instance, it enhances themutual respect between medical professionals and their patients.Equally, it increases trust, promotes patient responsibility andempowers them to take responsibility for their health. To illustrate,patients will intensify their participation in preventive health careand minimize the possibility of missing out on imperativeappointments when they feel that they are understood, and their needsare taken into consideration by the medics. As a consequence, thatminimizes the legal costs incurred by healthcare facilities due tomedical errors committed by the doctors in their practice. It alsoimproves the health outcomes for patients resulting in theirsatisfaction. In the long run, diversity and cultural competence forhealth care professionals help minimize health disparities amongstthe patients (Truong et al. 2014).

Intoday’s multicultural societies, immigration has consistently beenon the rise. That has made it necessary for healthcare professionalsto embrace cultural awareness, sensitivity and competence behaviorswhen handling their patients. With the help of such concepts, medicscan realize that issues concerning health, care, suffering andillness are interpreted differently by various ethnic groups. Thathas enabled health care providers to minimize misunderstandingsbetween themselves, the residents or the patients together with theirfamilies leading to better and high-quality services thus enhancingpatient satisfaction.

Also,patient satisfaction is only achieved through effective interpersonalinteractions. Here, it is crucial for healthcare providers to possessa broad range of skills, knowledge, and attitudes towards theirclients. In that case, medical professionals are able to perceivetheir patients as unique people hence maintaining unconditionalpositive regard and building effective rapport so that they canunderstand their beliefs, values and their perceptions of the meaningof illness (Owiti et al. 2014). That will help them come up withproper treatment plans that will meet their needs thus achievingpatient satisfaction. Likewise, the practice enhances greateradherence to medical advice. Through proper understanding andeffectiveness of the interactions, patients can comprehend theprescriptions offered by health care providers, recommendations aswell as the preventive measures. That will facilitate their healingprocess, also, it will help them to take the necessary precautionarymeasures to avoid similar illnesses or even refrain from activitiesthat are likely to affect their general health. Because of that,diversity and cultural competence training to healthcareprofessionals plays a substantial role in meeting patient needs thusminimizing possible lawsuits due to negligence or any medical errorsthat might have committed (Avila et al. 2016).

5.0It helps nature the attitudes of a caregiver

Accordingto Truong et al. (2014), diversity and cultural competence trainingis a crucial aspect in addressing the attitudes of a healthcarepractitioner. The medical professionals can understand how cultureinfluences their behavior towards their clients, the way in whichthey handle their issues as well as the decisions on the bestmechanisms to be used to treat the patient. Also, such skills willenable the patients to be sincere in their expressions because theybelieve that the medics fully understand their feelings and he or sheis willing to help them recover. Moreover, the training createsawareness on the various rules or procedures that the medics shouldfollow when interacting with a particular cultural group. Thatentails their communication patterns, spiritual beliefs, customs andeven different practices such as division family roles. That willenhance their attitudes towards patients subsequently improving theoutcome of the results through better healthcare services. Similarly,if healthcare professionals become aware of the attitudes andtendencies in the way that they handle patients from different groupswill help them be sincere with their service delivery, improve theircommitment and concern towards ensuring patient safety and qualityhealthcare for all. They will also be able to learn and develop theircommunication skills to help patients from non-English speakingcommunities through translation, interpreting phrases and words toexplain fundamental concepts about their health. Similarly, thetraining will enhance their flexibility, simplify the language spokenby the patient regardless of the primary or first dialect. That willimprove the way in which patients express themselves thus enhancingtheir health (Truong et al. 2014).

Despitethe fact that cultural competence has been effective in achievingpatient satisfaction, enabling healthcare providers to work withdifferent groups and address and advice adoptive parents understandthe cultural heritage of their kids, the process has not been able towork in the following scenarios in a healthcare setting.

6.0Language barrier

Intoday’s healthcare environment, health professionals have beenchallenged to provide a culturally competent healthcare services to adiverse patient population. However, the language barrier has been achallenge in ensuring that diversity and cultural competence is fullyimplemented and incorporated into their practice. The healthcaresector depends on personal support workers who do not have sufficienttraining or adequate knowledge on English language skills. As aconsequence, the language barrier has inhibited full implementationof various and cultural competence training skills by healthcareprofessionals when attending to patients. Consequently,ethnic-specific issues have not been adequately addressed. There ispoor communication between physicians and patients due to thedifference in cultural beliefs and practices. Equally, that hasaffected effective communication, limited the interactions betweenpatients and healthcare professionals to understand one’s beliefs,values, and cultural practices thus undermining efficient healthcaredelivery. Besides, if medics do not fully understand the appropriatelanguage descriptors they may not be able to get the correctinformation from the patients subsequently giving wrong medicalinterpretations and recommendations. That results in increased risksof lawsuits filed by patients due to medical negligence that mighthave adverse effects on their health.

7.0Lack of sufficient measures to address cultural differences amonghealthcare professionals

Justlike any organization, healthcare facilities comprise of employeesfrom diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Therefore, lack ofinadequate measures to address these differences which affect theprocess of implementing diversity and cultural competence in thehealthcare sector. For instance, there will be increased cases ofconflicts and misunderstanding where the staff members do notacknowledge and appreciate cultural diversity amongst themselves.Thus, the medical professionals may not be able to execute theirroles effectively undermining the quality of healthcare servicesprovided to their patients (Owiti et al. 2014). Therefore, in ascenario. Diversity and cultural competence for health careprofessionals training would not work.

Inmy healthcare practice, I have encountered several similar exampleswhere diversity and cultural competence training knowledge and skillsis a vital aspect that boosts the quality of services offered. Forinstance, I have dealt with a number of transracial adoptive familieswho adopt children from different racial and cultural backgroundsthrough intercountry or domestic adoption. Most of the families havehad difficulties in understanding the cultural heritage of theadopted kids. In this case, it is vital for the adoptive parentsfirst to appreciate the values and beliefs of the children. That willplay a significant role in making them feel good about themselves andwhere they come from. The adopted kids should feel free to askquestions their cultural background without any fear. Adoptivefamilies should also understand that children have interests andhobbies that are not similar to the one that they are familiar with.Therefore, parents should show interest in their activities as theyseek different ways of including the family behaviors which theywould like the adopted kids to embrace (Avila et al. 2016). Doing sowill help the children connect with their culture, make them be proudof the differences and maintain their ethnic and traditional identityhence resulting to more efficient and comfortable adoptions. Thatwill also avoid issues such as child abuse and racial discrimination.Equally, other have also had problems with handling failed adoptionsbecause of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. When such issuesoccur, the families should give themselves time to grieve, try to getanswers, join support groups and see counselors for professionalhelp.

Onthe other hand, the language barrier has also hindered theapplication of my cultural competence knowledge and skills wheninteracting with the patient from other ethnic and racialbackgrounds. The cultural, linguistic and healthy literacy barriershave negatively affected the efficiency and quality of medicalservices provided. Therefore there is a need for the healthcaresector to spearhead reforms meant to integrate the language ofdifferent groups, their culture as well as the necessary informationconcerning their health and general well-being.


Asit has been established, diversity and cultural competence trainingfor health care professionals is an essential aspect of medical care.It significantly contributes to the success and excellence ofhealthcare delivery. The research paper identified how the trainingon cultural competence has been useful in various areas. First, ithas enabled medical practitioners to help adoptive parents understandthe cultural heritage of their children hence making it easier forthem to nature them subsequently promoting their identity.Additionally, the exercise has been effective since it has helpedmedical personnel to handle different types of groups from diverseethnic and cultural backgrounds. For example, through the knowledgeand skills, the medics can satisfy the needs of the disabled,lesbians and bisexual groups. They are also able to handle peopledifferent races such as Asian Americans and African Americans.

Equallyimportant, the research paper demonstrated how diversity and culturalcompetency training can help healthcare practitioner’s nature theirattitudes more especially when they are dealing with their patients.The medics become more conversant with the procedures needed tohandle different communities. Additionally, the essay discussed howthe training is effective in boosting patient satisfaction.Healthcare professionals are able to give specialized treatment topatients such as the one with chronic diseases. Patients will alsoexpress their feelings and emotions so that the medics can give theappropriate medication and recommendations. That will minimizeincidences where patients have to file lawsuits because of medicalerrors committed. Also, diversity and cultural competenceimplementation experience problems because of the language barrierand lack of sufficient measures to address cultural differences.


Avila,M. M., Kamon, J. L., &amp Beatson, J. E. (2016). Addressing HealthDisparities through Cultural and Linguistic Competency Trainings.ABNFJournal,27(4),83-87.

Burkett,K., Morris, E., Manning-Courtney, P., Anthony, J., &ampShambley-Ebron, D. (2015). African American Families on AutismDiagnosis and Treatment: The Influence of Culture. JournalOf Autism &amp Developmental Disorders,45(10),3244-3254. doi:10.1007/s10803-015-2482-x

McLoyd,V. C. (2016). Commentary: Advancing Our Understanding of AsianAmerican Child Development: History, Context, and Culture asEssential Considerations. ChildDevelopment,87(4),1051-1054.

Owiti,J. A., Ajaz, A., Ascoli, M., Jongh, B., Palinski, A., &amp Bhui, K.S. (2014). Cultural consultation as a model for trainingmultidisciplinary mental healthcare professionals in culturalcompetence skills: preliminary results. JournalOf Psychiatric &amp Mental Health Nursing,21(9),814-826. doi:10.1111/jpm.12124

Truong,M., Paradies, Y., &amp Priest, N. (2014). Interventions to improvecultural competency in healthcare: a systematic review of reviews.BMCHealth Services Research,14(1),1-31. doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-99