In the contemporary society, culture of various races and ethnic groups is one of the factors that have attracted many debates globally. Various work premises have different people with different cultures and beliefs. In fact, various people look different in terms of actions, perceptions and how they respond to things in today’s work premises. There is great diversity. Therefore, sometimes interactions between these people may bring some misunderstandings since one’s culture may be against someone else’s way of action to the person. Hence, it is essential to have some multicultural knowledge about other people. This paper will give the meaning of cultural competence and advance to give goals and strategies to better oneself on this subject.
According to Leavitt (n.d), cultural diversity is a collection of people’s behaviors, and attitudes that are put together in a continuous way to enable an individual practitioner to work well in a transcultural setup. In other words, cultural competence puts in place the need for one to have a dynamic cultural knowledge and realize the differences among various cultures of people, pay respect to them and relate well with them.
Cultural competence has four stages. It is worth noting that attaining proficiency in cultural diversity is one of the strengths of an individual working in a culturally divergent setup. Therefore, setting an objective of becoming culturally competent is very crucial. The first step to take is to have cultural awareness. Cultural awareness is in most cases referred to us cultural sensitivity. In this case, one should be aware of other people’s culture and avoid biases. The second step is to increase cultural knowledge of oneself. Here, we need to comprehend theories and concepts that have various frameworks about the views of the world from other people. By doing this, we will establish a good relationship with others. The third way is by developing cultural skills, which revolves around examining and managing other people’s culture. The last way is by having a cultural encounter. It is having an exposure to different people from different cultures with the goal of assisting them achieve various things. By doing this, we will consequently develop and increase our cultural competence (Leavitt, n.d).
Whilst we focus on attaining cultural competence, it is imperative to understand some of the barriers to cultural competence. In this case, we will take an analysis of a health care center. According to Betancourt (2000), appropriate service deliveries in a diversified health care center are caused by a number of barriers. One is through lack of diversity in health care workforce that is a great barrier to care in health care facilities. In fact, this mostly affects minorities. For instance, research has shown that when a doctor and patient are from the same race and share the same ethnic group, satisfaction based on service delivery by a doctor to the patient is high. The patient feels satisfied from the service offered. However, this is different when both the doctor and patient are from different races. The other barrier is poor cross-cultural communication between patients and providers. Apart from the language barrier between a patient and a service in a health institution for instance, barriers of communication was a barrier. In situations whereby the service providers in health care fail to provide quality services to patients, the trust between the two groups fades. Finally, this leads to dissatisfaction of service delivery by the patients, poor medication, and poor strategies of promotions.
In order to achieve universal cultural competence in a work environment, we need to do a number of things. For instance, having a visit to a health care center which has different people with diversified cultures can reveal sections that need correction. According to Betancourt (2002), there are programs that can be put in place in a health care center to boost the efficiency and convenience of the general workforce.
First is by having on-site interpreter services in health care setups with large masses of patients who lack adeptness in the English language. Other interpreter services installed in sites with limited financial and human resources will improve service delivery. The second way is by developing health information written in an understandable language; that is, language of appropriate literacy level. The third way is by collecting data about language preference for beneficiaries and clinicians in programs sponsored by federal laws and private organizations too. The collected data gets analyzed in terms of language preference. It will be used for monitoring service delivery, public reports and quality service enhancement. Fourthly, there should be identification and implementation of federal law as well as state reimbursement strategies for interpreter services. There should be enforcement of interpreter services in health care institutions and health care institutions with substandard services deliveries be held accountable.
In conclusion, cultural competence is a chief subject that needs analysis and implementations in a more judicial way. We must be culturally competent, realize and appreciate each other’s culture. Therefore, service delivery in public and private premises will be very satisfactory.
Leavitt, L.R. (n.d). Developing Cultural Competence in a Multicultural World, Parts 1 & 2.
Betancourt, J.R. (2000). Cultural Competence in Health Care: Emerging Frameworks and
Practical Approaches. New York. The common wealth fund.