Academic journal article Journal of Cultural Diversity

Culture Counts

Academic journal article Journal of Cultural Diversity

Culture Counts

Article excerpt

The Surgeon General Executive Summary report U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Center for Mental Health Services concludes the "culture counts" in the care of individuals that are experiencing mental health (DHHS, 2003) or any other physiological problems. This report further underlines the need for an appreciation for the intrinsic diversity within each of the recognized racial or ethnic groups and the implications of that diversity. Race and culture have been identified as barriers to health care. Other barriers include lack of or limited health insurance, lack of financial resources to cover services, lack of a primary health care provider, cultural and spiritual differences, language barriers and issues of discrimination (HP2010). Another barrier is the lack of cultural similar practitioners.

Dr. James Caillier and colleagues investigated the potential of racial discrimination in the delivery of invasive cardiac treatments. Their findings strongly support additional research in the area of medical treatment and minority populations and, further, is an encouragement for further research on potential gender differences in medical care.

Communication discord and insight into cross-racial primary care relationships in a nurse-managed center is offered by Dr. Ramona Benkert, Dr. Joanne Pohl, and Dr. Patricia Coleman-Burns as they explore communication patterns between patients and practitioners.

Maren Coffman, RN, MSN further examines the phenomena of culture with a meta-analysis of qualitative research as it relates to cultural caring in practice. These findings offer strong support for cultural sensitivity and competence in practice. Dr. Merle Kataoka-Yahiro, et al, extend this need for cultural understanding by the health care team in the exploration of the grandparenting caregiving role in Filipino American families. The authors provide support for education in nursing schools that includes the diverse and complex needs of extended families.

A willingness to decrease ethnocentristic behaviors and to become educated about others is the catalyst to cultural knowledge and is a part of nursing curricula. However, the development of cultural competence in schools and colleges of nursing is a struggle because the profession is very homogenous, with approximately 90% white females (National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice [NACNEP], 2000). …

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