Posted: August 11th, 2023
Advocacy and Cultural Competence
Hello Professor and Class,
As our country continue to grow, so to does it become more diverse. Because of this the department of HHS Office of Minority Health exists which helps create standards to fit the needs of cultures which may be at a disadvantage when it comes to healthcare. This Office released the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care (Koh, 2014). Healthcare organizations use these standards and incorporate them into their standard of care so that they can care for all cultures in a wholistic way. According to the American Nurses Association (2021) to be considered ethical, one must be able to determine what is the right thing to do.
Some of the ways that we use CLAS standards is by providing language services to our patients. We do this in several ways. One is by having on-site interpreters that are available to come to the bedside to assist in translating between the patient, patient’s family, and the health care team. Another option is video interpreter. This option allows for a larger variety of different languages and also allows the patient and their families to see an actual person. A third option is interpretation by telephone. This gives us the largest number of languages to choose from but does not have the same benefit as having a person or video to look at.
One nursing action that I could incorporate to help improve our cultural competency in my organization is to start a program that offers a course for health care providers to learn another language. For example, my organization see a large number of Hispanic patients that require a Spanish interpreter. If we offered Spanish courses, we could see and treat our patients faster and more efficiently than we could with our language services. This could have a profound impact on the critically ill when seconds and minutes count.
( Thomas )
American Nurses Association. (2021). Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice (4th ed.)
Koh, Gracia, J. N., & Alvarez, M. E. (2014). Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services — Advancing Health with CLAS. The New England Journal of Medicine, 371(3), 198–201.
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