The Importance Of Cultural Diversity In Healthcare In 2021


the importance of cultural diversity in healthcare

Unfortunately, in many instances these positive relationships are tarnished by actions or words taken in a haste to meet the deadline or meet a quota. Such actions can have very real and far-reaching consequences for the patients, nurses, and other employees of healthcare facilities.

Healthcare workers are among the most diverse in the nation. Because they interact with and work with the most vulnerable patients, they need to understand their own cultural background and deal with patients who do not share that same cultural background. This is especially true in the health care setting where people of differing cultures and ethnicities are often placed in the same room. If healthcare workers do not understand and respect the differences in the cultures of the patients they work with, the results can be disastrous.

The Work Environment Was Calm And Sanitary

Cultural Diversity

Consider the last time a nurse practitioner visited a patient in a coma. The professional did not speak the patients’ native language or perform any meaningful cultural exchange. Instead, he or she simply offered basic care, such as giving the right dosage of medicine. During this visit, the patient’s parents were present to monitor the extent of the patient’s recovery and to be sure that the healthcare worker was providing the proper level of care. The parents expressed little to no frustration or animosity throughout the visit and the work environment was calm and sanitary. Had this individual been a Hispanic male, however, the scenario might have been quite different.

There are two primary reasons for the need to consider cultural diversity in healthcare workers. The first is to avoid the possibility of unintentionally offending patients, which can lead to a loss of patient trust and open hostility. Another is to ensure that healthcare workers are fully able to perform their jobs, regardless of the background and heritage of the patients they interact with on a daily basis. It is this second reason that is often referred to as the healthcare providers’ responsibility to ensure that all of their interactions with patients adhere to a set of rules, regulations, and policies. In this way, cultural differences will become an issue of ergonomics and not of principle, if it comes to dealing with healthcare workers of varying origins and cultures.

Diversity Should Be Celebrated Within The Medical Profession

Cultural Diversity

The importance of cultural diversity in healthcare providers and the healthcare workers who interact with these patients on a daily basis cannot be underestimated. In fact, it is suggested that such diversity should be celebrated within the medical profession itself. Providers should take care to recognize and respect the cultural diversity found in patients’ families. Such recognition would encourage patients to feel more comfortable dealing with healthcare providers of various backgrounds and consider them respectable. In addition, diversity may have some positive implications for healthcare workers.

The very concept of healthcare is based on the idea that all people have different and unique characteristics that make them distinct from one another. When healthcare providers deal with these variations on a regular basis, the chances of them developing biases or practicing discriminating behavior increase greatly. This does not mean, however, that all differences between the cultures should necessarily be viewed negatively.

Developing Prejudices Or Unfair Biases

If different healthcare providers work with similar patients, then there is less likelihood of them developing prejudices or unfair biases. For example, a doctor working in a Roman Catholic Church hospital may tend to see all patients as being very religious. In contrast, a doctor working at a nondenominational health clinic may be biased against religion and favor treating patients of the same religion or culture. 

Such differences in perspective can help to eliminate the forms of discrimination that occur on the basis of religion. It also provides equal opportunity for all patients to receive treatment from a doctor of their choice and to participate in the services they need.

Conclusion

The importance of cultural diversity in healthcare cannot be overlooked in a society that has become more defined by religious ideologies and discrimination. Healthcare providers should always strive to treat patients with kindness and compassion regardless of their background and culture. The impact of this philosophy can be seen in the huge number of lives that are saved each year from preventable illness and disease. All healthcare providers, regardless of their background and culture, should work to extend their services beyond helping to identify and treat the ill to helping to create a community that is culturally tolerant. Patients want clean, safe environments and healthcare providers should strive to provide them with those environments.

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