Cultural and linguistic competence is a set of consistent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that exist in a system, agency, or among professionals and allow for effective cross-cultural work. ‘Culture’ refers to integrated patterns of human behavior that include racial, ethnic, religious, or social groups’ language, thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions. ‘Competence’ denotes the ability to function effectively as an individual and as a group within the context of the cultural beliefs, behaviors, and needs to be expressed by consumers and their communities.
Organizations must demonstrate cultural competence by:
Have a well-defined set of values and principles, as well as behaviors, attitudes, policies, and structures that allow them to work effectively across cultures
Have the ability to
- value diversity
- assess oneself
- manage the dynamics of difference
- acquire and institutionalize cultural knowledge
- adapt to diversity and the cultural contexts of the communities they serve
Incorporate the above into all aspects of policymaking, administration, practice, and service delivery, and systematically involve consumers, key stakeholders, and communities.
Cultural competence is a long-term process that evolves. Along the cultural competence continuum, individuals and organizations have varying awareness, knowledge, and skills.
Cultural competence is the incorporation and transformation of knowledge about individuals and groups of people into specific standards, policies, practices, and attitudes that are used in appropriate cultural settings to improve service quality and outcomes.
Cultural competence principles include:
- Broadly define culture.
- Consider your clients’ cultural beliefs.
- Understand the complexities of language interpretation.
- Encourage learning among providers and communities.
- Involve the community in the identification and resolution of service needs.
- Collaborate with other organizations.
- Improve the hiring and training of employees.
- Make cultural competence an institution.
Briefly introduce a person you have recently cared for in your nursing practice. (Be sure not to include any identifying information that would be protected by HIPAA!) Discuss the person’s view of the cause of their health condition, the person’s health literacy, and the person’s identity on the continuum of privilege-disadvantage (Table 4 in the Lor article on p. 361). What was (or would be) your approach to care for him/her in a culturally competent way?
Your initial post should be at least 600 words, formatted and cited in current APA style with support from at least 3 academic sources