Clinical Care

Cultural competency a cornerstone of good care

Efforts are underway to require training in cultural competence for health care licensees.


cultural competence

Culture shapes beliefs, and beliefs shape not only our own practice but our patients’ personal health and how they interact with health care services in general. Medical outcomes and even life and death, may hinge on a mutual understanding between caregiver and patient.

This is why cultural competency has become an important topic for health care professionals. It requires self-awareness and an understanding of our own beliefs, attitudes, emotions and values. This means we must expand our knowledge and our skill sets through training and education.

The Oregon Health Authority Office of Equity and Inclusion is working to ensure health care professionals in Oregon complete cultural competence training as a part of license renewal. Individual boards many have different requirements for which the type of training is needed; however, licensees or certificate holders generally are required to take at least two hours of training.

Asante offers some continuing education in cultural competence through ALEC/HealthStream, and there also is a wealth of information through public agencies. Nurses and providers can search courses in cultural competence through:

Check with your specific licensing board to ensure which courses meet licensing board requirements.

Our goal — personally and as a health care system — is to examine our own values and beliefs so we can develop an inclusive approach to health care. This means recognizing the complexities of our interactions with patients and preserving their dignity.

Tags: Anne Hansen, cultural competence, Licensing, nursing, STAT
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