DiversityNursing Blog

Establishing a Diverse Workplace Culture

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, May 18, 2018 @ 10:43 AM

diversityhands

Promoting diversity and inclusion within your workplace is one of the best ways to foster an open-minded company culture. When you have a diverse work force, they provide unique employee perspectives and when that work force mirrors the population of patients they're treating they can give you the patient's perspective as well. These insights should give you a better understanding of those colleagues and patients.

Operating any business in this day and age, especially a health system, requires a large degree of diversity within the organization to help provide culturally competent care to an ever growing and changing patient population. Larger well-organized health systems have entire teams dedicated to diversity and inclusion efforts.

Sometimes recruiting and hiring managers unconsciously target diverse candidates who act like the majority rather than seeking to bring true differences to their organization. When you hire people who think and act like you do, it is comfortable. You know what they look and sound like, and uniformity feels easier to manage. However, doing so stifles diversity, a sense of belonging and innovation. When people who all think alike come together, they consistently dream up similar solutions. High levels of innovation only happen when you leverage the insights of people who see the world differently.

Try to get feedback about the hiring process from the applicants themselves. They are the people who have experienced bias and cultural misunderstandings. They know how it feels and will have ideas about positive changes that can be made within the organization.  
 
It is highly recommended that your organization provide all employees with diversity training. Employees should understand that hiring decisions are based on finding the best candidate and not only based on quotas. The recruiting process should be transparent to help ease the minds of skeptical employees. Also, be sure managers fully understand the benefits of a diverse workplace. They will be implementing HR policies and should be fully committed to supporting the practice.
 
Treat others the way they want to be treated. Understanding how different cultures… perceive a handshake, handle eye contact, and deal with the boundaries of personal space, can help to avert misunderstandings. When in doubt, ask. If you accidentally cause offense, apologize. Be respectful of personal and cultural boundaries. Encourage your colleagues to do the same through your example as this will make your workplace more welcoming and productive for everyone.

For diversity to bring strength, it must be valued and integrated into company practices and philosophy. This takes time and a commitment to celebrate diversity. It requires the willingness to be open-minded and non-judgmental about the value of differences.

Topics: cultural diversity, diversity in healthcare, Diversity and Inclusion, diverse workplace culture

Inspiring A Future of More Latino Nurses

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Feb 09, 2018 @ 09:45 AM

WorkingNurse_Recruiting_More_Hispanic_Nurses.jpgDiversity in the Nursing field is necessary to progress health equity and improve patient outcomes. As a result of efforts in recent years, the Nursing workforce today is more diverse than it was a decade ago, but there is still work to be done. The goal is to have a health workforce that mirrors the nation’s diverse population.

“Latinos make up 17.3 percent of the U.S. population,” said Norma Cuellar, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor of Nursing at The University of Alabama, director of the BAMA-Latino Project, and president-elect of NAHN. “Unfortunately, as the number of Latinos continue to rise, the number of Latino RNs does not. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, there are about 2.9 million RNs in the country, and just three percent are identified as Latinos. This results in a failure to provide culturally congruent care, language barriers, and health disparities in the Latino population.”

As the principal investigator over the NIH-SEPA grant, Angie Millan, RN, DNP, FAAN, NAHN project director and the Nursing director of Children’s Medical Services for the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health, aims to inform new generations of Latinos to consider Nursing as a worthy and rewarding career, and provide the guidance, support and resources needed to achieve Nursing career aspirations.

“The Hispanic community is very young, with an average age of around 26, and our numbers continue to increase,” Angie said. “However, the number of Hispanic Nurses is not keeping up with the growth.  We need help in communicating with parents, students, teachers, and counselors that Nursing is a great career, and that to be prepared, students need to know the math and science requirements.”

Teri Murray, Ph.D., dean of the School of Nursing at Saint Louis University said, “Racially diverse students, from populations currently underrepresented in Nursing, will be paired with peer mentors, faculty mentors and seasoned Nurse mentors who are out working in the field. “Mentoring has been shown to be effective for students from underrepresented backgrounds in serving as role models, assisting students to navigate college life and the profession, and in general showing the student the ropes,” Murray told the American.

2018 marks the fourth year of the NAHN Hispanics in Nursing campaign to increase the number of Hispanic Nurses, which is made possible through a grant received from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Science Education Partnership (SEPA). In addition to providing information about which classes to take in high school to prepare for Nursing prerequisites and highlighting the profiles of Latino Nurse role models, the campaign also provides access to Mentors Connection, a database of Latino Nurses who can provide career guidance, advice, and cultural perspective to prospective Nurses.

“It is imperative that we encourage these Latino students not only to obtain their degree in nursing, but to pursue advanced degrees. There is a dire need to increase the number of Latino nurses who are academically prepared to be leaders in a variety of healthcare roles,” said Dr. Cuellar. “In this ever-changing healthcare landscape, it’s more important than ever for Latino nurses to have a seat at the table. We have to be leaders in nursing, and we have to be the voice for the Latino population.”

Topics: latino nurses, diversity in healthcare, diversity in nursing

Diversity in Healthcare for Patients and Nurses

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Jun 01, 2017 @ 11:24 AM

Diversity-Blog-Image.pngUnique 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.

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Topics: diversity in healthcare, Diversity and Inclusion, diversity in nursing, patient care

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