Effective Patient Evaluation Requires Diverse Cultural Competency
The overwhelming question facing the United States healthcare system during the 21st century is how we will accommodate the increasing cultural diversity of our patient population. This new demographic makeup will challenge this country, its citizens and its healthcare institutions to accommodate the patients who represent every corner of the world, as well as every language, culture and religious belief.
More than just a buzzword, diversity is important to the success of respiratory therapists as we deliver care to our patients. We as respiratory therapists must grapple with the issue of diversity. In today’s society it means respiratory therapists will see patients that vary in gender, race, and creed passing through our hospital and clinic doors. We must become culturally competent to treat those patients with language barriers and cultural misunderstandings that have the potential of decreasing the quality of communication between patients and ultimately the quality of care those patients receive.
Respiratory therapists should be able to understand how to effectively evaluate their patients by becoming culturally competent. Why?
We, as respiratory therapists, must take an active role in becoming culturally competent. We are patient focused caregivers, now let us be focused and provide culturally competent care to our patients.