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Cultural competency is seen as sensitive and an unbiased quality of care.

Being culturally
competent means respecting the diversity in the patient population and taking in cultural
factors that can affect health and health care. The standard areas that are covered are typically;
governance, leadership, workforce, communication and language assistance (USDHHS, 2014). It
is important to treat every patient with equal respect and it also important that medical schools
see these studies and realize that there needs to be a change in the curriculum when it comes
to creating relationships and also having that barrier with professionalism.
Communication is a huge barrier when it comes to cultural competence because studies
have shown that patients only 12-18 seconds to talk about their problems before being
interrupted. Communication problems are what cause mishaps that can harm patients (du Pre’,
2014). When patients speak about what is wrong, it is typically not the main thing they are
there for and when this happens physicians will diagnose based on the first thing that comes
out of a patient’s mouth. When there is communication, it becomes for comfortable for the
patient to disclose information rather than feeling rushed (du Pre’, 2014). It is also important
for the physician to listen carefully, because this can reduce the number of malpractice suits.
Developing cultural competence means that we need to be more aware based on people’s
appearance or ancestry and by doing so physicians need to be aware of not only verbal
communication, but nonverbal communication skills.
Nearly 21 million people in the United States do not speak English proficiently (du Pre’,
2014). When it comes to language assistance, this can mean interpreters, sign language, or
having another family member speaking for them. It can be scary entering a new country and
not speaking the language, especially entering a health setting and having doctors speak in a
different language and one not understanding anything that is going on. Language barriers can
be frustrating for patients and caregivers because it can be hard to give a diagnosis and it can
be hard if the patient is not aware of the medical options (du Pre’, 2014). The rising culture in
the United States are Hispanics and the U.S health system is not keeping track of this.
Therefore, most Spanish speaking families only understand the diagnosis “sometimes” or
“never” and 80% of the residents say they avoid caring for the patients whenever possible. It is
not fair to “brush” off patients because of the frustration or the patience. It is the physicians job
to do whatever is necessary in order for their patients to understand the medical options
available as well as understanding the diagnosis given.
I believe that cultural competence could reduce racial and ethnic disparities because it
can reduce the stereotyping and the stigma that is created within the healthcare setting and
along with society just in general. The two factors mentioned above can reduce racial and
ethnic disparities because it can reduce the amount of misdiagnosis and it can reduce the
number of malpractice suits. With the right resources within each hospital I believe that there
will be a decrease within the malpractice cases and within some of the physician mishaps.

DuPré, A. (2017). Communicating about health: current issues and perspectives (4th ed.). New
York, NY: Oxford University Press.

U. (2014, July 8). Improving Cultural Competence to Reduce Health Disparities for Priority
Populations. Retrieved March 20, 2018, from