Academic journal article Journal of Cultural Diversity

Developing and Implementing a Cultural Awareness Workshop for Nurse Practitioners

Academic journal article Journal of Cultural Diversity

Developing and Implementing a Cultural Awareness Workshop for Nurse Practitioners

Article excerpt

Problem Recognition

In the United States, as the general population is becoming more culturally diverse, the interest in crosscultural education training among medical providers has increased. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of a 3-hour cultural education training workshop and its impact on the participants' cultural knowledge and cultural competency when presented to a group of Western New York nurse practitioners and nurse practitioner students.

The population in the United States continues to diversify which increases the need for outreach and cultural training to serve these populations. There are mandates put forward by the Rehabilitation Act of 1993 that ensures that health care agencies who provide care to the underserved elderly population with disabilities living in independent centers and nursing homes promote strategies that will increase service proficiency. The Rehabilitation Act identifies standards and assurances for independent living centers receiving federal funds. Title VII, section 725, Sub-section C, item 10 states that an agency will provide "satisfactory assurance that: aggressive outreach regarding services provided through the center will be conducted in an effort to reach populations of individuals with severe disabilities that are underserved by programs under this title" (Rehabilitation Services Administration, 1993, p. 161). According to the Center for Immigration Studies (as cited in Renshon, 2007), there were 37.9 million immigrants living in the United States in 2007. At some point most of these individuals will seek the services of a professional health care provider. Culture and cultural differences are increasingly recognized as important factors that affect successful outcomes in health services. The outcome of those encounters will depend largely on the health care provider's knowledge, skills, and understanding of culturally competent care (Renshon, 2007). In view of these statistics, there is a greater chance that independent living center staff and nursing home staff who provide care to the elder population will eventually provide care services to a person with a disability from a different culture, thus making culture competency skills of great importance. Culture competency training is therefore necessary for nurse practitioners who provide care to this underserved elder population. Nurse practitioners care for patients from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, and in order to deliver hign quality primary care that is meaningful, effective, and cost effective, these providers must develop a greater understanding and appreciation of the social-cultural background of clients, their families, and the environment in which they live.

The National Standards on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services established mandates, guidelines, and recommendations regarding culturally appropriate services to all people from diverse backgrounds and staff training to serve those groups (United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health [USDHHS OMH], 2001). The mandates are related to current federal requirements for all providers and health care organizations who are recipients of federal funds such as Medicare payments. All Medicare Part A certified providers are required to adhere to the National Standards on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (USDHHS, OMH, 2001).

Cultural competence has gained attention as a potential strategy to improve quality and reduce or eliminate disparities in health care. Although there are no requirements under the current federal laws, Executive Order Number 13,166, mandates that each agency receiving federal financial assistance through programs, including Medicare, examine the services it provides, then develop and implement a system by which limited English proficient persons can meaningfully access these services (Executive Order No. 13,166, 2000). Agencies which fall under this executive include hospitals, nursing homes, long term care facilities, home health agencies, and managed care organizations. …

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