Creating Culturally Competent Health Care Organizations
Healthcare professions have increasingly accommodated cultural diversity in the provision of care. The health organization is obliged to be socially conscious in the light of appreciating individual values, beliefs, and practices that could be different in the context of practice setting. Revolutionization and globalization of healthcare have increased the influx of professionals from various parts across the world to practice in a foreign country (Garneau, & Pepin, 2015). These professionals hold up to a unique cultural background. To promote cohesion and quality delivery of services among the employees, the health organization has to demonstrate cultural sensitivity and competency.
Standards for cultural sensitivity
Cultural organizations have provided for various standards for ensuring that individuals are aware of the differences in culture and avoid identifying them after specific values such as right, good, bad, wrong, or better. The organizations have established educational programs on their workforce to train them about practices of other cultures. They have ensured access to online sources and materials that create awareness on intercultural communication, preconceptions, and bias that has been associated with specific cultures in a multinational world.
The organizations have established conflict solving criteria through discussions that allow equal opportunity for employees to register their claims and issues to relevant authorities. The approach is nonjudgmental and aims at mutual satisfaction in decision making. The organizations provide for recognition of other cultures through celebrating diversity. Appreciating the employees' diversity enhances a sense of cultural acceptance and sensitivity. The organizations strengthen the staff's knowledge of teamwork in services provision. Partnership reduces minor differences that could expose cultural animosity (Garneau, & Pepin, 2015). They organize socialization forums that offer interaction platform and bonding between members at individual levels. The cultural organizations have also established flexible policies that are compatible with the beliefs, norms, and practices of various employees. The policies aim at consolidating their motivation and commitment to universal healthcare delivery.
Challenges of living in foreign countries
Language barrier present as the primary challenge for any person operating away from their native country. Language variation impairs day-to-day socialization and exchange of information. It could take quite a while for individuals struggling to learn a new language and alleviate the accent for fluency communication. This challenge may present breaches in the communication pathway in the working environment (Jernigan et al., 2016). The cultural shock could be a problem for an individual to begin appreciating a unique way of life in a different country. Most of the events might be astonishing and surprising in the context of social customs, community behaviors, and practices. It could be a challenge for an individual to blend into the social orientation of the communities in the foreign country.
Loneliness could be a severe personality issue regarding lack of company from families and friends. It is difficult to establish a network of friends to bring about comfort and pleasure during free times. It could also be a challenge adapting to the new food types. Majority of persons could be worried about housing; navigating through the unfamiliar locality. Management of finances could be a problem in terms of paying bills and sustaining a social life. Climatic conditions could also present health issues, making it difficult for one to thrive in a new environment.
Failure to conform to cultural sensitivity standards presents various health implications. It brings about a disconnected relationship between a healthcare professional. This could impair the interprofessional team working due to poor coordination and collaboration of care. It could increase the rift in cultural differences and breaching the communication pathways hence inviting confusion in the practice setting. As a result, errors in the clinical units could be rampant, leading to a poor patient health outcome and delayed recovery.
Conflicts may increase within the organization, thus diverting the attention of strategic planning. The focus on solving the members' disputes suppresses introduction, maintenance, and sustainability of evidence-based practices. Improper management of cultural differences could lower the quality of care resulting from frequent misunderstanding and poor interpersonal relationship in meeting the patient needs. Majority of professionals from foreign countries may find it challenging to adapt; they may be forced to return to their native countries (Parker, Webb, & Wilson, 2017). In this case, there could be a shortage of health professionals to meet the needs of an overwhelming number of patients seeking health care. Also, the organizations could lose the corporate image and competitive advantage in healthcare services through patients' feedback on their satisfaction.
Garneau, A. B., & Pepin, J. (2015). Cultural competence: A constructivist definition. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 26(1), 9-15.
Jernigan, V. B. B., Hearod, J. B., Tran, K., Norris, K. C., & Buchwald, D. (2016). An examination of cultural competence training in US medical education guided by the tool for assessing cultural competence training. Journal of health disparities research and practice, 9(3), 150.
Parker, A., Webb, K. E., & Wilson, E. V. (2017). Creating a studying abroad experience for elementary teacher candidates: Considerations, challenges, and impact. In Handbook of Research on Efficacy and Implementation of Study Abroad Programs for P-12 Teachers (pp. 111-132). IGI Global.