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Culture Competence Essay

1308 words - 5 pages

These nine terms are all correlated and intertwined with each other. Without one, like culture, you cannot have the other, such as diversity. If one is going to work as a health care professional, they must know these terms and be able to respect the meaning of each one.
A meaning of a word can differ from person to person, depending on his or her culture and upbringing. Culture in a general sense is patterns, behaviors, beliefs, values, customs and life ways that have been passed on from person to person, generation to generation, within a family and group of people. This group of people with the same thoughts about products of human work will also share implicit or explicit patterns of their world view and decision making. There are different cultures all around us. The primary characteristics of culture are the obvious things that meet the eye such as; nationality, race, color, gender, age, and religious affiliation. The secondary characteristics of culture are more hidden and person. The majority of these characteristics can be shown by asking a person specific private questions. Educational status, occupation, political beliefs, marital status, sexual orientation, how much money you make… these are all confidential things that make up who we are and some people make feel uncomfortable talking about them in public. These secondary characteristics are what people really need to respect when working with patients from different cultures. The differences between cultures and the ignorance of knowing more about culture as a whole is how a lot of people get into moral trouble. Ever culture is different from each other whether it is by the looks of the people, race and ethnicity, or even the not so obvious, sexual orientations and religious beliefs. The acceptance and respect of exploring these differences between individuals that shows what diversity truly is (Gladstone). The acceptance and respect for diverse cultures comes from being aware of what goes on between the people of a particular culture. “Cultural awareness is the appreciation of outer signs of diversity such as the music, dress, arts and physical characteristics” (Purnell, 404). Being respectful and open to different cultures isn’t just about appreciation the beauty of the people and their beliefs, it is also about having the knowledge to be able to communicate and care for patients of another culture. Cultural competence takes in thought the patients beliefs and practices, not just the external views of a culture. In order to be competent as a health care professional, one must be able to deliver care accordingly for a patient’s culture. Not only, do they have to obtain the knowledge, abilities and skill to treat the patient effectively, but they must also choose their words carefully. Since cultures differ from patient to patient, one must accept that before they open his/her mouth. Every culture has a different way of speaking, not necessarily a different language, but a way of...

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