Wilcox Cultural Competency Training

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Cultural Competency Training for Medical Professional in a Diverse Health Care System: Taking a closer look at Indiana

Table of Contents



Aim of the Study5



Review of the Literature10

Population Growth17

Review of Policies18

Indiana Hospital Service Areas and Population Density26



Rating Average of Survey29





Cultural Competency Training for Medical Professional in a Diverse Health Care System: Taking a closer look at Indiana


Health disparities refer to differences between groups of people. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, disparities in health still exist and need to be addressed. According to Genao et al (2003), the population of minorities in America is projected to exceed 50 percent by 2056 thereby, increasing the incidence of poor health outcomes within this population. Nonetheless, for many health conditions, non-Hispanic blacks bear a disproportionate burden of disease, injury, death, and disability (Beamon at al., 2006).

The need for cultural competency training within health care has gained national attention thus, leading to policy change for health care practitioners and health care programs.

Cultural competence has been defined by the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) as “A set of academic and personal skills that allow us to increase our understanding and appreciation of cultural differences between groups” (ISDH, 2011). The Office of Minority Health (OMH) defines it as “a cultural and linguistic competence among professionals which will enable them to work effectively in cross-cultural situations” (OMH). In addition, OMH advocates that congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies are to be utilized as a system to implement change. There are different concepts and perceptions as to what cultural competency means. Nonetheless, understanding cultural differences has created discourse in its relationship to the delivery of health care and patient outcomes.


The latest literature (since 2000) has viewed values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors as may impact health outcomes of populations being served by other cultures that differ from their own (White-Means, 2009). “Hippocratic Oath” states that it is an ethical responsibility for health care practitioners to develop an understanding of their patients to ensure they provide the highest quality of care (Paasche-Orlow, 2004). Current research demonstrates the need for improved quality of care within at risk and minority populations. As identified in research, one in five minority Americans experience difficulty in communicating with their physician (Brach & Fraser, 2002). This percentage “rises to 27 percent among Asian Americans and 33 percent among Hispanics” (Brach & Fraser, 2002). In relation, linguistics has been identified as part of cultural competency for the delivery of effective health care alongside cultural differences. These barriers have had a negative impact on utilization, satisfaction, and possibly adherence to health care services (Brach & Fraser, 2002).

Meanwhile, as diversity of the patient population is changing in the United States', health care practitioners are ever more responsible for managing the care of individuals with diverse backgrounds. Middle class European American beliefs and attitudes remain dominant throughout health care. These beliefs and attitudes have been found to interfere with understanding the totality of a patient in ways that they care for themselves, thus minimizing the ...
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