The Meaning of Culturally Competent Care

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It refers to the provision of health care services with tolerance and respect for all people of all ages, nationalities, races, and customs. It is also a set of congruent behaviours, attitudes, and policies that get combined in a system, agency or among the professionals and enhance effective work in cross-cultural situations (Anderson et al., 2003). Culture is the integrated patterns of human behaviour that in cooperates thoughts, language, communications, beliefs, values, religion or social groups. Competence can work viably as an individual and association within the setting of the cultural beliefs and needs to be presented by consumers and their communities.

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Models of cultural competency

Academia. Involves visiting the academic site. It requires a curriculum that begins with a month-long orientation to introduce family medicine residents to the community. The doctors then spend almost 30 hours on issues related to cultural competence, and during this time they learn about traditional healers and community oriented primary care and hold little gathering discussions readings and self-reflective exercises.

Government. It involves the quality control, where the state, for instance, the Washington state provides reimbursement for certified interpreter or translation services for all Medicaid recipients and to the other departments who may in need of them.

Managed care. Kaiser Permanente developed a department of multicultural services that gives on-site interpreters for patients in all languages, with internal staffing capability in 14 languages and dialects. Kaiser has also established modules of culturally targeted health care delivery at the San Francisco facility.

Community health. The effort to expand access to care for the recent Chinese immigrants got began by the Sunset Park Health Center (SPFHC) in its area. Its first experience in creating culturally competent health would be the Asian Initiative. The initiative first focused on reducing barriers, hence offering flexible hours of service developing interpretation services.

Key components of cultural competence. The authors noted that cultural competence in health care needs an understanding of the community that gets served as well as the socio-cultural influences on individual patients health beliefs and behaviours. It also comprises of devising strategies to minimize and monitor potential barriers through interventions.

Framework for culturally competent care. It involves the nation healthcare systems and the healthcare policies getting shaped by the leaders who designed them and the workforce that carried them out (Betancourt, 2002).

Examples of patient care plan on cultural assessment:

1. Teaching plan. It involves learning about the meaning of a given illness of the patient regarding the patients unique culture.

2. Determining how embedded the patient is in their traditional culture or how aligned the patient is with native culture.

3. The cultural negotiation plan. Involves assessment and agreeing on a treatment regime that is acceptable to both the patient and the care provider.

4. Personalized care plans to empower the patients to take more responsibility depending on their cultural backgrounds.

5. Counselling. It is a plan that is set to help in preventing conflicts that might arise in antagonistic care units and cultural beliefs (Purnell, 2012).

What health providers do to develop cultural competency

To develop cultural competency the health providers can do the following:

- provide interpreter services;

- recruit and retain minority staff;

- provide training to increase cultural awareness, knowledge, and skills;

- coordinate with traditional healers.

Use community health workers (Hernandez et al., 2015).


Anderson, L. M., Scrimshaw, S. C., Fullilove, M. T., Fielding, J. E., Normand, J., & Task Force on Community Preventive Services. (2003). Culturally competent healthcare systems: a systematic review. American journal of preventive medicine, 24(3), 68-79.

Betancourt, J. R., Green, A. R., & Carrillo, J. E. (2002). Cultural competence in health care: Emerging frameworks and practical approaches (Vol. 576). Commonwealth Fund, Quality of Care for Underserved Populations.

Hernandez, M., Nesman, T., Mowery, D., Acevedo-Polakovich, I. D., & Callejas, L. M. (2015). Cultural competence: A literature review and conceptual model for mental health services. Psychiatric Services.

Purnell, L. D. (2012). Transcultural health care: A culturally competent approach. FA Davis.

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