David Morcom Pharmacy Administration October 15, 2006 Dealing with Patient Diversity in Pharmacy Practice The increasingly diverse

demographics of the U.S. today has monumental consequences on the field of healthcare. Thus, it is our duty as future pharmacists to adapt to these changes by providing satisfactory healthcare to our entire community through knowledge, familiarity, and understanding of the different cultures that confront us everyday. Culture is a barrier to communication just as much as language and generational gaps. Discrepancies in many people’s perception of healthcare and what health is in general, can lead to fear and distrust of health professionals if not dealt with in the proper manner. This absence of trust can lead to noncompliance to the specified drug regiments which can be detrimental to patient outcomes. This is why it is so important that pharmacists become more knowledgeable, appreciative, and culturally competent all together to enhance relationships with one’s diverse array of patients. The first step towards cultural competency is to recognize the necessity of its acquisition in the healthcare field as well as in all other aspects of life. Cultural competency can only be developed through time, effort, and direct contact with ethnic patients. However, recognizing one’s own ethnocentric view of the world, avoiding stereotyping, and communicating effectively can jump-start competency in this area. Once pharmacists acknowledge the unique individuality and needs of their patients, they have taken one step closer towards overall cultural competency and fulfilling their duty of patient beneficence in providing better care.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful