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Cultural Competence: Understanding and Application by Health Care Professionals

Tiana Dorosz, Dr. Leonard Ezenagu, and Dr. Anjela Wong, Education Studies, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 105 Garfield Avenue, Eau Claire, WI 54701

This project aimed to increase the understanding of cultural competence in health care as the U.S. becomes more diverse. According to the U.S. Census predictions, around the year 2043, non-Hispanic Whites will drop below 50% of the U.S. population, illustrating this increasing diversity. However, diversity is also increasing in terms of gender and sexual orientation. Having cultural competence is essential in health care to help eliminate disparities and ensure quality care for minoritized individuals. To explore this topic, we conducted virtual interviews with 12 health care professionals from the same health care facility, including nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and physicians. Semi-structured interview questions examined how health care professionals define and apply cultural competence in their practices. Participants also reflected on their cultural competency training and access to resources to improve cultural competence. Preliminary findings have revealed that many participants used similar phrases to define cultural competence. These phrases included “cultural knowledge", “cultural awareness”, “ongoing process”, “active effort”, “open”, “desire to learn and change", and “individualized to the patient”. In relation to the application of cultural competence, common phrases included “individualized to the patient", “ongoing learning process”, “desire to learn and understand”, “acceptance of not having complete understanding”, “open discussion”, “communication”, “collaboration among staff”, and the word used in all 12 interviews, “ask”. Potential areas for improvement were revealed, including cultural competence education from Computer Based Trainings (CBTs) and in the hiring process, as well as transgender education. We hope this study provides valuable knowledge of health care professionals’ understanding and application of cultural competence and will lead to improvements at this health care facility.




Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Tiana Dorosz

Institution: University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

Type: Poster

Subject: Nursing & Public Health

Status: Approved


Time and Location

Session: Poster 9
Date/Time: Wed 12:00pm-1:00pm
Session Number: 6088