Unique challenges encompass the delivery of quality healthcare in the entire world as a whole. People of all ages are terminally ill -- with approximately half the American population fighting hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis and mental related illness.
As a Nurse, you are required by the healthcare profession to be sensitive, demonstrate cultural awareness and behavioral competence necessary to ensuring healthcare issues are handled effectively.
Medical professionals worldwide have voiced sentiments on the importance to further diversify the healthcare workforce. This is mainly because the entire healthcare profession is focused on transitioning to a patient-centered healthcare system in which patients demand more personalized care, high level rapport and open communication.
Discrimination, stereotyping, prejudice and racism are the most common barriers toward achieving diversity in healthcare for patients and Nurses. There are multiple scenarios when you may show lack of sensitivity without even noticing it, unintentionally offending patients. You should for instance:
- Ask the patient how he or she may wish to be addressed or simply addressing him or her by their last name as a show of respect.
- Inquire of the patient’s knowledge on treatments and health problems.
- Forge the patient’s trust so as to establish a formidable nurse-patient relationship.
Diversity awareness in healthcare is however an active, continuous conscious process through which Nurses recognize the differences and similarities within various cultural groupings. As Nurses, we can only achieve diversity in healthcare by carefully evaluating and appreciating cultural group(s) differences.