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Caring for culturally diverse patients: one agency's journey toward cultural competence.Edit

Romeo C.

Home Healthc Nurse. 2007 Mar;25(3):206-13.


The author, Cultural Competency Program Manager for the VNA Care Network & Hospice, defines cultural competency as “a learning process that enables individuals and organizations to function effectively in the midst of cultural difference.” In late 2001, her agency established the Cultural Competency Program which has since evolved throughout the years. They focused on knowledge, attitudes, communication, and commitment. They also developed a Cultural Diversity Council whose members develop a series of “cultural profiles” that describe common health beliefs and traditions in their own culture. Council members serve as community liaisons and assist others in adapting. This organization is a large one compared to most and has more resources; however, the author proposes a few strategies smaller agencies can implement.

  1. Identify cultural competency as a personal or organization goal
  2. Identify and consider personal culture
  3. Participate in any available training opportunities
  4. Invite representatives from diverse populations to speak and interact with staff
  5. Establish a cultural diversity council
  6. Invite coworkers to share their own cultural traditions
  7. State a commitment to value and respect diversity in long-term goals, strategic planning, and published promotional materials
  8. Collaborate with other community organizations
  9. Explore any resources that interest you

The author proposes several definitions for culture and cultural competency as well as provides several links to websites offering cultural profiles.

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