Introduction behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together

Introduction

             Cultural competence is “a set of congruent
behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or
among professionals that enables effective work in cross-cultural situations”
as per American Physical Therapy Association. While the cultural competency
includes awareness, knowledge, and skills, it is also essential to convert
these constructs into appropriate communication. For developing cultural
competence and providing wide-range health care to a multi-cultural patient
population, the most important component is the quality of communication.
Effective communication has been linked to reducing health imbalances and
improving patient outcomes (Sherrill & Mayo, 2014).  

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Literature
review

The more we develop
awareness of our own behavioral preferences and consider our reactions to
behaviors which challenge those preferences, the greater our understanding will
be of the role of culture in communication, and the less likely we are to feel irritated
or frustrated when we encounter differences. Teaching strategies should concentrate
the critical role of good communication skills particularly with different
cultural groups. The positive attitudes towards communication skills training
are significantly related to confidence when communicating with the patients. It
is important that instructors identify opportunities to teach improved
communication skills (plack, 2006). Educational programs can provide students
with an impact of communication on patient satisfaction and health outcomes.

The
health care professionals should provide treatment regardless of age, gender,
race, ethnicity, social status, weight, sexual orientation, religion and
language of any patient or their family member (Committee on cultural
competence, 2008). During interactions with clients, families and colleagues,
physical therapists must consider the impact of culture and language they
encounter to provide competent care to the patients. Any patient who presents
with a language barrier or any communication needs must be provided with
competent language assistance, both verbally and in writing to meet their
needs. When the patient and the therapist are from different cultural
backgrounds, an understanding of the patient and family values is required to
provide effective care. (Hayward, 2012).

The skill of effective
communication with the patients and their care takers is not specific to
physical therapy community but is very essential in other sectors of health
care profession. A research conducted by Arif et al. (2017) on pharmacy
students showed an increase in understanding of attitudes towards
cross-cultural communication by pre-lecture and post-workshop assessment. Understanding
of cross-cultural communication concepts and comfort level with providing
cultural care has been increased significantly. They included a real- life
scenario in which the learners can observe the actions of the video actors,
reflect on the weaknesses and strengths of the interaction, and project how
they would behave and respond if facing a similar patient interaction. The
results of the study should be considered to develop patient-therapist
interaction.

Summary

            Communication
skills are very important for patient care management especially when dealing
with patients of different cultural background. There are different ways of becoming
culturally competent such as learning from a lecture, learning from an
experience, being confident and expressing views in verbal and non-verbal ways
of communication to provide effective care to the patients from different
cultural backgrounds. Each health care professional should learn the beliefs,
attitudes, and values of the profession by professional communication and
inter-personal skills. 

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