November 28 , 2016
Diversity and Cultural Competence in Behavioral Healthcare
This paper is about the effects of diversity and cultural competence in the behavioral health care work setting. It is oftentimes overlooked how important one 's ethnicity is not only to ourselves but for the clients as well. Making all efforts to make a client feel comfortable with their background when seeking treatment will ultimately lead to better results. This paper will discuss the many barriers to cultural competence as well as the benefits of it. I will also be writing about different ways to train staff and about support of cultural competence.
Keywords: Cultural competence, diversity, ethnicity, barriers …show more content…
Cultural competence in a hospital or care system produces numerous benefits for the organization, patients and community. Organizations that are culturally competent have improved health outcomes, increased respect and mutual understanding from patients, and increased participation from the local community. Additionally, organizations that are culturally competent may have lower costs and fewer care disparities. Things like increased respect between cultures and boundaries, it promotes the inclusion of everyone which will in turn encourage more people to seek out help from clinicians if needed. It would also increases cost savings from a reduction in medical errors, number of treatments and legal costs and lower the amount of missed appointments. Researchers conclude that although the field is in its preliminary stages, there is much promise for continued successes in the impact of cultural competence on health outcomes and well-being. American Hospital Association, …show more content…
Many journal articles and several key informants cited the lack of diversity in health care leadership as a potential barrier to care. According to a journal from The Commonwealth Fund, “minorities make up twenty eight percent of the U.S. population but only three percent of medical school faculty, sixteen percent of public health school faculty, and seventeen percent of all city and county health officers. Furthermore, fully ninety eight percent of senior leaders in health care management are white. This is a major concern because minority health care professionals in general may be more likely to take into account sociocultural factors when organizing healthcare delivery systems to meet the needs of minority populations.” (Betancourt 1) Not only that but minorities are underrepresented. There are many studies illustrating the difference in the diversity of the behavioral healthcare workforce versus the clients compared with the quality of care. For example, studies have found that when both doctor and patient come from the same background there is better results. They share that ethnic background and it can give a sense of understanding, additionally the client may already feel comfortable from the beginning with more of an opportunity for