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The provision of culturally competent health care and respond to cultural and linguistic needs of patients is vital in nursing. Healthcare involves responding to not only physical needs of patients but also their emotional needs, values and issues affecting their lives. To effectively respond to these needs the organizations must understand a variety of diversities that include age, culture, gender, ethnicity, race, religion and socioeconomic status (Guerrero, Fenwick & Kong, 2017). As such, there is need for nurses and organizations to be culturally competent in order to provide care that respect the psychosocial, spiritual, and cultural values of patients.
- A culturally competent organization provides services that respect and respond
to cultural and linguistic needs of the patients served. Several organizations including the Joint Commission and the America Nurses Association have set up standards of cultural sensitivity for credible organizations. Through the Institute of medicine (IOM), the US government has set up five core competencies that professionals working in a healthcare must address (Andres & Bolye, 2016). These include working in multidisciplinary team, apply quality and offer patient-centered care which takes into consideration the unique culture and language of the client. The sixth standard of the expert panel ten standards of practice for culturally competent nurse requires that healthcare organizations should provide structures and resources necessary for evaluation and meeting the culturally and linguistically appropriate needs of their diverse clients (Andres & Bolye, 2016). The joint commission also has standards for culturally and linguistically appropriate care. These standards require that organizational leadership create and maintain a culture that promotes safety and quality in an organization, meets patients’ needs. The standards requires that patients receive information in a manner they understand which means the language must be appropriate. There are also national standards for culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Healthcare.
b. These standards are meant to respond to challenges that people face when they need to seek healthcare away from their cultures and language. One of the major challenges in living in living in a foreign country is to get assimilated into the new culture. Studies shows that assimilation into the new culture may have impact on mental health due to stress encountered in learning the values, practices and believes in the new culture. Language barrier makes it hard for the individual to seek essential services.
c. Failure to adhere to standards for cultural sensitivity is related with health inequalities. There are differences in incidence mortality rates prevalence and burden of disease among specific population groups in the country.
a. The culture of an organization affects its ability to deliver culturally competent care. Most of all, it affects education about cultural needs. An organizational culture determine whether education is valued within an organization and the type of assistance that is offered to promote education about cultural needs. An organizational culture determines the availability of efforts to facilitate provision of education that considers cultural caring values, symbols, beliefs and references for a diverse people.
b. There are three major steps towards becoming a culturally competent organizations. The first element is the analyses of data in communities to get an understanding of the cultural and linguistic composition therein. It is only in understanding a community that the different cultures therein can be identified and appropriate care provided. Secondly, there is communication of the findings to determine the priority areas that needs to be addressed (Brach, 2017). Thirdly, there is education of staff about the needs of the community and developing the appropriate programs to meet the needs of the community.
There are similarities in the standards of culturally competent organizations provided by different organizations. For example, the 2014 Joint Commission Standards addressing Culture require that patient’s right to receive information in a manner that they understand.
a. Similarly, the ANA requires that nurse administrators protect the rights of patients in healthcare including that of getting clear information during treatment thus requiring that the language used be appropriate.
b. The AMA promotes culturally appropriate education for healthcare personnel that will enable them effectively deliver treatment to a variety of communities (Jernigan et al., 2016). This is similar to the National Standards for culturally and linguistically appropriate care.
c. In a similar manner, the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) maintain that for a healthcare provide to be culturally competent, they must employ patent centered care which emphasize on the need for understanding information given affecting their care. Another similarity observed in the standards is the high focus on the patients and their needs. The primary focus of the standards is to ensure that patients receive care that is appropriate and results in the highest possible health standards. As such, the standards mention the patients in their statements.
On the other hand, each of the standards by these organizations are unique and present differences. The main differences in the standards are attributable to whom they are directed. For example, being primarily directed to nurses, the ANA standards mainly give directives to nurses and nurse managers on how to promote cultural competence within the organizations they work. Similarly, the AMA standards target doctors and physicians in organizations. The national standards for culturally and linguistically appropriate Services are designed for the general healthcare. The joint commission requires hospital leadership to be responsible for the provision of standards of care that are culturally appropriate. The IHI requires a consulted effort by hospital administration and healthcare professionals in providing culturally competent care.
Andres, A.M. & Bolye, J.S. (2016). Transcultural Concepts in Nursing Care (7th ed.). ISBN 978-1-4511-9397-8
Brach, C. (2017). The journey to become a health literate organization: A snapshot of health system improvement.Studies in health technology and informatics,240, 203.
Guerrero, E. G., Fenwick, K., & Kong, Y. (2017). Advancing theory development: exploring the leadership–climate relationship as a mechanism of the implementation of cultural competence.Implementation Science,12(1), 133.
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.