In our increasingly globalized and interconnected world, cultural awareness in healthcare is more critical than ever. Healthcare providers must understand how cultural values and beliefs influence patients’ decisions, behaviors and treatment options.
From improving patient-provider communication to providing more comprehensive and effective care, cultural awareness can make a real difference for healthcare providers and their patients.
What is cultural awareness?
Cultural awareness refers to understanding the beliefs, values, norms and customs that are prevalent within a culture. Healthcare providers need to be aware of these differences when caring for patients because they may want to use different approaches when delivering care.
By enrolling in the University of Indianapolis ABSN program, you can learn how to better serve your patients by recognizing their cultural needs. This program pays attention to the holistic health and assessment of patients of all ages.
In addition, it emphasizes cultural awareness and therapeutic communication, which are integral parts of any healthcare provider’s job.
5 Benefits of cultural awareness in healthcare
Cultural awareness can profoundly impact the quality of care that patients receive and the overall effectiveness of healthcare organizations.
Here are five reasons cultural awareness is becoming increasingly important in the healthcare field as more and more people from different backgrounds enter the system.
A more positive workplace culture
Cultivating a positive workplace culture is one of the best ways to improve patient care. It also helps reduce employee stress and leads to better-quality care without the need to incur the expenses associated with hiring additional employees.
Better patient focus
Cultural awareness leads to a better understanding of the patient’s perspective, helping improve the focus on the patient’s needs and expectations. This can go a long way toward improving patient satisfaction.
Improved customer service
Performing well in healthcare-related tasks is important, but providing good customer service is equally imperative. Cultural awareness leads to better communication skills and a greater ability to help patients feel welcome and valued.
It is also the first step in creating empathy for the patient’s culture, which encourages a better understanding of their needs and expectations.
Greater likelihood of patient adherence
When patients feel listened to, valued, respected and included in the healthcare system, they are more likely to use the system as intended. This directly leads to healthier outcomes for everyone involved.
For example, patients who feel like part of the system will use it for their basic needs, and those using it more often will be more likely to comply with their medications and other treatment protocols.
Patient communication will improve when healthcare workers understand the patients’ language and culture. This allows doctors and nurses to build stronger relationships with their patients and better understand their needs.
The bottom line
The ways in which healthcare professionals relate to and communicate with patients is just as important as the medical treatment they receive. Cultural awareness is a crucial aspect of improving patient outcomes.
By better understanding patients’ cultures, values and traditions and behaving accordingly, healthcare organizations can improve the community’s overall health more effectively.