Cultural diversity has a significant influence in our society being the main foundation of
multiculturalism. Different countries has their own heterogeneous cultures that composed of
diverse qualities involving language, race, ethnic group, beliefs, social background, etc.,
interactions of which impact several aspects of the society that could cause disarray if not
addressed accordingly. This also affects the health care system since majority of the health
professionals as well as the patients originated from various cultural background. Recognition,
comprehension, and acceptance of the cultural differences provide better outcome in bridging
the gap to promote a homogenous society.
According to an article cited in Ausmed Education, health professionals should render a
culturally-appropriate and culturally-sensitive care when attending to patients (AUSMed
Education, 2016). At times, this could be a challenging task for them as they need to consider the
standard medical practices and perform within the framework. Therefore, it is important to
distinguish one’s individual perception and preference as a form of respect to others. For
instance, as a part of their belief Jehova’s Witnesses forbid blood donation and/or transfusion
of all blood products. There are certain belief or tradition that can affect with the decision
making of a patient, subsequently, can interfere with the medical management. In this case, it
is critical that a health professional acknowledges the patient’s preferences and coalesce with
the existing policy and procedures. Understanding their cultural background and preferences
through effective communication can individualised their needs which can overcome barriers
and other difficulties dependent on cultural difference.
Relating to effective communication, this is essential in one organisation because it reinforces a
culturally-diverse environment through collaborative efforts of health professionals in
delivering quality health care services that support the social needs of patients. Nurses have a
direct encounter in cross-cultural interactions, aside from patients are variety of health
Carmina M. Tiangco GRP 9.18
professionals such as physicians, pharmacists, social workers, etc. Awareness of this diversity
equips them to integrate the link from the patients to other health team member which
contributes to a positive health outcome for all involved.
On the other hand, lack of diversity awareness can adversely affect patient health outcome.
Consider this as an example, a nurse is ministering one member of a family who is a firm
believer of alternative medicine. If the nurse is incapable of recognising the cultural background
of the patient caused by ineffectual data gathering (e.g. medical or social history taking), the
treatment the patient had prior to proper medical consultation might alter the efficacy of the
recommended treatment plan. Therefore, cultural competence greatly impacts the delivery of
quality health care.
Diversity does not just encompasses culture and race, it also revolves around ethnicity, gender,
religion, and disability as stated in an article (eNotes, 2018). A culturally health care system
yields a comprehensive quality patient-centred care focusing on its wholeness with regard to
the key areas that might control their health outcome. Ethnicity is depicted as the social
belongingness in a group with common traditions and social lifestyle. Gender diversity is not
just mere men and women, it is also inclusive of different sexual orientation such as LGBTQ and
transgender. Religious diversity means respecting their belief by integrating them to their
treatment plan. Disability involves accommodating any condition that aids a person in achieving
optimal health. Nevertheless, one must be treated equally in all forms to promote a culturally
sensitive environment, especially in the health care system.