Posted on: 27 November 2018
People are culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse. To effectively achieve the delivery of healthcare services, it is necessary to examine how various factors, including ethnicity and culture, affect healthcare. Understanding a community's needs, beliefs and cultures will lead to better healthcare. Below are key areas that need to be addressed to offer better healthcare that integrates diversity.
Different People Have a Different Cultural Lens
Everyone has a worldview that is influenced by the culture they grew up in, and it makes them have opinions about other people's behaviours or actions. Worldviews can also lead a person to make wrong assumptions. For example, in the health profession, a doctor or nurse may judge a patient wrongfully and end up offending the patient or misdiagnosing them.
Additionally, the doctor may approach communication of a particular issue the wrong way. An example of this would be where the patient's culture involves the use of certain herbs or rituals that may be causing illness. The doctor should calmly inform the patient of how the herb is causing the ailment and not just tell the patient that their culture is wrong and they should stop. This may drive the patient away and stop them from getting the help that they need.
Different Religions Have Different Requirements
Doctors and nurses have to deal with many difficult situations. A patient may come in for consultation with a severe illness that calls for blood transfusion. Some religions do not allow blood transfusions, and the family members will fight doctors and demand alternatives. Unfortunately, some patients end up passing away because of this. Doctors should make sure they are ready for such situations so that they can administer better healthcare.
Also, some religions do not allow women to be seen or touched by men. They have to be treated by other women. In some instances, there may not be a female doctor with the expertise required by the patient. Hospitals should make sure they have experienced male and female doctors on call at all times.
Diversity within Diversity
What does this mean? You know that people are culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse. Beyond this, they also differ in sexuality, gender, age and perspective. Just because two people are from the same religion, it does not mean their sexuality is the same or that they have the same social problems. Understanding each person the way they are is essential so that they feel respected and thus, in the case of a health professional and patient, they can receive better healthcare.
For more information, contact a multicultural healthcare center.Share