The world is continuously evolving and changing. Apparently, these changes and evolutions affect all sectors of society, which include the healthcare sector. Over the recent past, the healthcare sector has experienced numerous changes, which affect the nature of service delivery in healthcare centers. Some of the changes include the issue of culture and lifestyles demonstrated by patients. The fact that the world is gradually becoming a global village has made it possible for individuals to move from one place to another and interact with minimal interferences (Maddalena, 2009).
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It is imperative to explain that when people move from one place to another, and in some cases, acquire citizenship of a respective country they retain some aspects of their cultural and religious orientations.
The implication of cultural and religious orientation in the healthcare sector initiates complexities in the nature of service delivery. According to Betancourt, Green, and Carrillo (2002), complexities occasion because while doctors attend to patients with professionalism some elements deemed fine with some communities might be offensive to others. The essence of cultural competence has increased in the present society because of its emphasis on the challenges experienced by healthcare practitioners. In the process of delivering services, medical practitioners interact with patients, who come from various communities.
These individuals have values associated with their culture and religion. Failure to respect or understand these values leads to complexity in service delivery and affects the overall process of treatment. Therefore, cultural competence is very important in advancing the quality of treatment provided by the healthcare sector.
The dynamics demonstrated by modern societies have compelled the health care sector to introduce the concept of cultural competence in the quest to advance the quality of services delivered by healthcare practitioners. Fundamentally, by incorporating the concept into the sector, patients enjoy the advanced quality of healthcare. Since cultural competence focuses on understanding the various orientations demonstrated by diverse communities and patients, the quality of healthcare advances.
Maddalena (2009) highlights that when healthcare practitioners understand the values, lifestyles, and beliefs, which are core in a particular society they deliver services in a manner that is not offensive to them. Additionally, healthcare practitioners undertake the services professionally and communicate with patients from the respective communities in a wise manner. The choice of words, verbal and non-verbal communication will focus on aspects that are not offensive to the communities in relation to their cultural, ethnic, and religious values.
Principally, patients feel respected and participate in the healing process if the practitioners demonstrate assertiveness in the nature of service delivery. When practitioners respect the values of the patients concerning their culture, lifestyle, and religion, patients enjoy the treatment that they receive, and in turn, take part in ensuring that they recover. In cases where the healthcare practitioners fail to respect the values, which are core to a given community, patients dislike the treatment offered by the practitioners and the center. It is vital to explain that when patients dislike the treatment services provided by a given center, the process of service delivery becomes challenging.
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The challenge transpires because of the dissatisfaction that emanates from failure to understand and respect the diversity presented by patients from the respective communities. Lehman, Fenza, and Smith (2010) explain that good relationships with patients in relation to their culture and lifestyle are one of the crucial aspects that boost the process of service delivery in healthcare. Therefore, before delivering treatment services, practitioners, who undertake their activities in communities that have diverse cultures need to understand their religious, cultural, ethnic, and educational inclinations.
Betancourt, J., Green, A., & Carrillo, E. (2002). Cultural Competence in Healthcare: Emerging Practices and Practical Approaches. New York: Cornell University. HealthCare Settings. Washington: McGraw-Hill.
Lehman, D., Fenza, P., & Smith, L. (2010). Diversity & Cultural Competency in Maddalena, V.
(2009). Cultural Competence and Holistic Practice: Implications for Nursing Education, Practice, and Research. Journal of Holistic Nursing Practice, 23(3), 153-157.