Cultural Competence Care and Lack of Communication
March 23, 2015
Instructor Annette Marget
“Hola, coma esta, Me llamo Swasti Lewis, Yo soy enfermera por la noche”, this statement translates to, “hello, how are you? My name is Swasti Lewis, I will be your nurse for tonight”. Language, a beautiful notion in life defining people by their origins, culture and countries. Language means, “the words, their pronunciation, and the methods of combining them used and understood by a community,”(Webster, 2015). Nursing provides care to all different cultures that bring with them their own languages, customs, traditions, values, and beliefs. Culture is a, “Culture is the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts,” (Zimmerman, 2012). According to the National Institute of Health, “cultural competency is often described as the combination of a body of knowledge, a body of belief and a body of behavior”. Cultural competency affects the outcomes of healthcare and the delivery of healthcare, by helping providers to deliver care that is respectful to a persons beliefs, values and practices. Cultural competency also helps healthcare providers deliver care that caters to the linguistic needs of diverse cultures. Cultural competency is being able to effectively communicate with another culture emotionally, physically and linguistically. Communication is the art of how we interact with each other as people. For instance in the Muslim culture, it is inappropriate for women to look directly at man when speaking. The American culture says its disrespectful to not look someone in the eyes when speaking as in some Asian and European countries it is deemed disrespectful. Each culture has its own unique way of how it interprets and views communication. Hospitals are encouraged by law to implement better and effective ways of communicating with patients, because better clear communication yields positive outcomes. According to diversityInc, a research based website, “research showing that poor communication between patients and healthcare providers results in more deaths and/or injuries, increased healthcare costs, a decrease in the quality of healthcare and poor patient satisfaction”. The District strives for effective communication with its staff and patients. Swasti Lewis a registered nurse, who is born and raised in South Florida, has been accustomed to seeing a slew of new cultures and languages in South Florida. She also clearly remembers a time when Spanish was the dominant foreign language that was instilled in grade school through college and encouraged amongst family and friends. The last ten years working in the medical field and especially for District Hospital located in the heart of South Florida, Swasti Lewis RN has seen an influx of different cultures in the hospital, she has also seen a change in policies and regulations meant to cater to the new cultures of her colleagues and the patient population. District Hospital defines cultural competence in what and how it provides care to a diverse population living in South Florida by offering certain commodities such as special menus to cater to specific diets, such as vegetarians, vegans, gluten free, and healthy gourmet foods. The district has its own Chapel, and has religious leaders on staff and on call to cater to most religions. The district also has mentors for employees of different religions and cultures to help them blend into the mainstream working culture. The district has an interpreter line or a language line that is free of charge to the patients, and caters to most languages known in the living world. The populations served by the district are vast in variety coming from all across the world, some are citizens, some illegal, some on the cusp of becoming citizens, and English is a secondary language. The...
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