Cultural Competency for the Health Professional

Cultural competence is a critical aspect in health care because it seeks to achieve optimal care. Patients sometimes make decisions based on how their doctors handle or attend to them. More often than not, health care professionals focus on health care provision without giving a second though on cultural diversity of their patients. In situations of cultural diversity, patients tend to show specific behavioral orientation as regards their culture and this is an aspect that health care providers must appreciate even as they provide health care.

Various cultures have different beliefs from which they subscribe to. While Americans prefer individualism, other cultures may prefer communism. The former may not value the life of adults as compared to the latter. In this regard, therapists should be able to understand the beliefs of various cultures before preparing to receive cultural competence training. It is equally important to understand that culture can affect complementary therapy. Whereas Americans believe in yoga and massage, Hispanics believe in herbal treatment. This disparity is critical in striking the balance between competence and optimal care. Understanding various cultures and their orientation can help therapist make sound decisions in terms of care provision to their patient (Cynthia, 2012).

The most important step for therapist in terms of preparing to receive cultural competence training is to understand the various cultures they interact with and appreciate the need to provide care within the realms their client cultures. Cultural competence is a significant aspect in health care because patients derive satisfaction when they are attended to with some level of appreciation. Patient preferences may discredit normal health procedures but sometimes it makes a great difference to offer care based on such preferences because wellness is never about therapeutic care alone. Sometimes personal incentives can help a great deal.

Health care professionals who work in regions where English is not spoken require linguistic training to be able to perform their duties efficiently. Health care is very sensitive and thus requires a clear understanding between patients and health care professionals. Cross-communication is inevitable in health care provision and therefore health care providers must be able to communicate to their patients in a manner to derive an understanding between them.

Training health care professionals to attain cultural competence such as linguistic training requires various approaches. Language is unique in terms of what words people prefer to use in various occasions. While learning a new language may be a difficult course given the challenges of mastery and diction, it is important for health care professionals to first understand the important aspects of a given language before getting to know the nitty-gritties. Trainers should lay emphasis on professional engagement between providers and patients but also offer training that enables informal interaction between the two.

There is need for health care professionals to contact their trainers after completing their training and ask questions in regards to their training. However, the trainer can make effort to ensure he gets feedback from his/her trainees. The trainer can carry out an assessment from the various workplaces of his/her trainees to ascertain the performance of his/her trainees. Asking questions based on lessons provided is another way to get feedback from participants. Given the sensitivity of health care, it is important to ensure that health care professionals have the requisite knowledge imparted in them. It is for this reason that a feedback process is necessary.

Evaluation is important for people being evaluated because its makes people know their progress. Additionally, it helps to build confidence in the people being evaluated. More often than not, people’s commitment to learning relies on confidence which can only be achieved through assessments and feedbacks. The motivation to learn is derived from progress and development. However, evaluation is also important to trainers because it tells whether there is an understanding between the learner and the trainer. Evaluation may either be a discouragement or an encouragement and this depends on its results (Rose, 2013). Negative results may discourage the learner from learning while positive results may be a good motivator. For evaluators, it is important to look into the positive achievements of a learner and advise on how to improve rather than look into the negatives.

In regards to the trainer, evaluation is important because it enables the trainer to point out areas that require improvement or additional effort. During assessments, the assessor should be able to evaluate the learner to determine his/her weaknesses while at the same time taking note of the positive achievements. This data is vital in developing action plans that may include change in teaching approaches. On the other hand, evaluation is important to the trainee because it gauges performance and determines areas that require additional effort from the trainee. Additionally, it is a good motivator to the trainee because it justifies the need for training and can sometimes increase personnel commitment to learning. There is nothing so discouraging like failing to achieve the things that matter especially when one undergoes through a training process. Competence is essential in every activity and it is for this reason that training must be able to accomplish its very purpose. Evaluation and feedback process are important tools in measuring competence and individual growth and development.

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