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Cultural Diversity and Competency

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    Cultural Diversity and Competency

                The self-assessment checklist is intended for individuals who are involved with health care systems that focus on children experiencing disabilities and specific needs in health care and their respective families. The purpose of the self-assessment checklist is for an individual to determine one’s strengths and weaknesses in cultural awareness and competency. The checklist constitutes thirty six questions, all of which will be rated by the respondent according to the frequency each action or behavior is carried out in the field of health care services. Responses to the checklist are in the form of letters – A (frequently), B (occasionally), and C (rarely or never) – corresponding to the how often each action or behavior is carried out in the work place. Answers that are mostly C’s reveal that an individual is conscious of the concepts of cultural diversity and does not advocate cultural diversity and exhibit cultural competency in the work place. (Goode, 2007)

                The results of the checklist, mostly A’s and some B’s, suggest that I am strongly aware of cultural diversity. Because of it, I am able to work on establishing a health care environment – wherein health care services are afforded to children with special needs and disabilities and their families – that is sensitive to issues pertaining to cultural differences. Cultural diversity, in the field of health care, focuses on race and ethnicity as detached to any standard. Cultural awareness regards culture as varied among races and ethnic groups. (Glazner, 2008)

                Some individuals who are involved in the field of health care might present an inquiry why cultural diversity has become a trend in providing services. The answer to that lies in globalization, fostering immigration that accounts for heterogeneous populations in nations. (Vinz & Doren, 2007) Apparently, access to health care services is a right awarded to all despite differences in culture. This sets the importance of cultural diversity and competence in the field of health care. (Verheijde, Rady, & McGregor, 2007)

                I have learned that providing health care services to children with disabilities and special needs is a great responsibility that should not be neglected, most necessary to improve my craft as a health care service professional. Moreover, there still remains to be room for improvement as exhibiting all competencies in everyday practice is not unqualified (as there are answers that are B’s or occasionally done). In order to enhance not only cultural competence but display the application of concepts of cultural diversity comprehensively, specific approaches should be employed. Examples of these approaches include opening up opportunities for learning cultural diversity and offering chances to apply or experience concepts being obtained from learning experiences. To fully address this resolution, there is a need to undergo health care training under the context of cultural diversity, under the most appropriate circumstances, led by a cultural competent leader and educator. (Neal, 2007)

                Getting acquainted with oneself, in terms of cultural background and competency in the work place influences personal health care practices exhibited within the health care institution. For instance, self-awareness enhances how I will be able to deal with situations that are highly sensitive under the view of cultural diversity. One such issue, hypothetically speaking, is handling the termination of counseling upon the occurrence of death. Considerations should include the diversity in cultural practices and perceptions when it comes to grieving and bereavement. Although grief is something common among people who experience loss, despite cultural differences, diversity in culture still bears an influence on how cases will be handled during such situations. Following the death of their loved ones, health care providers should at least exert effort to learn cultural practices and beliefs. For African-Americans, they depend on their nuclear family for emotional support. Moreover, they believe in the concept of reincarnation. On the other hand, Hispanics are highly dependent of their health care providers, seeking assistance from them during a difficult time. Generally, what health care providers should learn is that they should be able to provide the needs and expectations – dictated by their culture – of people after experiencing loss, in such a way that they are provided with what they need in order to recover from grief or bereavement. (Hardy-Bougere, 2008)


    Glazner, L. K. (2008). Cultural Diversity. AAOHN Journal. Vol. 56, Iss. 10. Retrieved October

                28, 2008, from AAOHN via ProQuest. Website:

    Goode, T. D. (2007). Adapted from “Promoting Cultural Competence and Cultural Diversity in

                Early Intervention and Early Childhood Setting.” Retrieved October 28, 2008, from   

    Hardy-Bougere, M. (2008). Cultural Manifestations of Grief and Bereavement: A Clinical

                Perspective. Journal of Cultural Diversity. Vol. 15, Iss. 2. Retrieved October 28, 2008, from ProQuest. Website:

    Neal, D. (2007). Cultural Competency: Ready or Not? Managers Can Improve Preparedness by

                Using a Stages of Change Approach. Addiction Professional. 5.7, 25(3). Retrieved          October 28, 2008, from General OneFile via Gale. Website:

    Verheijde, J. L., Rady, M. Y., & McGregor, J. L. (2007). The United States Revised Uniform

                Anatomical Gift Act (2006): New Challenges to Balancing Patient Rights and Physician Responsibilities. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine. Retrieved October 28, 2008, from AcademicOne File via Gale. Website:

     Vinz, D. & Doren, M. (2007). Diversity Policies and Practices – A New Perspective for Health

                Care. Journal of Public Health. Retrieved October 28, 2008, from Health Reference Center Academic via Gale. Website:


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