Cultural competence in healthcare stands for the ability of the health care system to provide care for diverse patients. The healthcare organization and its culture are required to be culturally competent to meet a variety of the patients’ needs, including the cultural, social, and linguistic aspects of needs. Although the concept is broad in terms of drawing definitions from multiple frameworks, the primary idea behind the concept is to provide good quality healthcare services to ethnic minorities while also reducing ethnic health disparities (Curtis et al., 2019). The responsibility implied by cultural competency requires the healthcare workers to learn specific policies and implement certain attitudes and behaviors to provide effective communication with diverse patients.
In my opinion, one could simplify the term of cultural competence to understand the concept and its’ comprehensive approach to the issue. The example provided by Curtis et al. (2019) describes the concept of cultural competence as “encompassing open-mindedness” for people from various cultural backgrounds (p.7). However, the concept of cultural competency borders closely with the concept of cultural safety of the patient. Curtis et al. (2019) compared two concepts and emphasized the latter’s importance by stating that cultural competence is considered to be more educational or individualized and centered around cultural knowledge. What is needed for the healthcare system is to ensure diverse patients’ safety, which could be organized and systematized by processes in the concept of cultural safety. In my opinion, while improving the open-mindedness of healthcare workers might be necessary for the patients’ experience with the healthcare system, priority should be aimed at providing cultural safety for diverse patients. I think that everyone should research the issue and decide for themselves if the concept of cultural competency is a broader version of cultural safety or they are different because they imply different approaches.
Curtis, E., Jones, R., Tipene-Leach, D., Walker, C., Loring, B., Paine, S., & Reid, P. (2019). Why cultural safety rather than cultural competency is required to achieve health equity: A literature review and recommended definition. International Journal for Equity in Health 18, 1-17. Web.