Cultural Diversity in Healthcare Professions

Table of Contents

Cultural Diversity in Healthcare Professions

The high level of racial and ethnic minority representation in the health workforce is the indicator of the organizational cultural competence and the major prerequisite for the prevention of disparities in health care provision (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, & Bureau of Health Professions, 2006).

The development of a culturally diverse workforce is a challenging task for managers as it requires a conscious effort in diversity promotion and selection of appropriate tools (e.g. transparent HR management, staff education, and training, etc.) aimed to create the motivational basis for the achievement of the desired results and enforcement of cultural sensitivity among employees (Hunt, 2007).

Employment practices as well as organizational anti-discrimination education, policy initiatives, and enhancement of communication, are essential to the development of cultural diversity and sensitivity in health care (Hunt, 2007).

Representation of the minor ethnic groups in the U.S. health workforce is important as it significantly affects the character of interactions between care providers and patients and increases the quality of service (Does healthcare have a diversity problem? 2015).

The usefulness of the diversity information

There is a direct relationship between the lack of diversity in the health workforce and staff members’ inability to address health disparities (Melillo et al., 2013). Thus, the diversity information may be used to enhance the effectiveness of education for care providers and contribute to workforce diversification through the increase in healthcare workers’ competence.

There are no ready-made instruments for managing an ethnically diverse workforce, but the evidence-based information may provide managers with frameworks which they can use to develop their strategies for enforcing racial equality and cultural sensitivity among staff members (Hunt, 2007).

The materials can be used for the achievement of greater diversity at the organizational level which is associated with the increase in the depth of the health research agenda, as well as the number of trained executives and policymakers “ready to take up leadership positions in the health care system of the future” (Cohen, Gabriel, & Terrell, 2002, p. 90).

The research evidence may be used for the creation of the informational basis needed for the refinement of the corporate culture, development of staff education programs, adoption of new managerial practices, and integration of new cultural values into professional practice.

The cultural diversity of the U.S. society is increasingly growing (Does healthcare have a diversity problem? 2015). The located information addresses the potential diversity-related risks promptly and allows the development of evidence-based strategies that can be implemented to enhance the ethnic concordance between the health workforce and the society.

Appropriateness of the photographs and graphic material

The researchers draw the official statistical data related to the demographic and ethnic composition of the healthcare staff members, and the prediction of the cultural diversity growth in the U.S. population (Does healthcare have a diversity problem? 2015).

The study by Melillo et al. (2013) provides graphic materials about the ethnicity of nursing students and their retention rate from freshman to sophomore years during 2007-2011.

The provided graphic information and statistical data are consistent with the articles’ content and support the scholars’ hypotheses, conceptual frameworks, and suggestions.

The website and academic articles use official data retrieved from credible sources including the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and The Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers (Does healthcare have a diversity problem? 2015).

Perspectives

The increase in cultural diversity in hospitals may lead to the retention of the currently underrepresented minor groups in medical staff (Melillo et al., 2013) and increase care providers’ job satisfaction.

It is suggested that the organizational diversity may help to develop trust among minority or socioeconomically unprivileged patients, improve patient outcomes, and satisfaction rates (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, & Bureau of Health Professions, 2006).

The located sources are useful for the organizational development inclusive of equality, diversity, and difference; accountable management practices, and effective leadership (Hunt, 2007).

Internal management issues

Organizations need to increase commitment to diversity through policies and legislation that promote equality of opportunities and support the work culture based on the respect and recognition of difference (Hunt, 2007).

Organizations should promote diversity through their hiring practices – posting job offers on the diversity-focused websites or collaborating with state organizations (Does healthcare have a diversity problem? 2015).

Diversity awards

National Diversity Awards honors employers supporting workplace equality and inclusion covering multiple areas of diversity including age, gender, sexual orientation, religious and cultural backgrounds (National Diversity Awards, n.d.).

The sponsoring organizations are Adidas Group, Excellence in Diversity, Microsoft, LUSH, etc.

Conclusion

Programs promoting ethnic and socioeconomic diversity in healthcare professions focus on the idea that the diversified health workforce helps to improve public health indicators and the quality of medical service (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, & Bureau of Health Professions, 2006). The review of the diversity information and research evidence reveals that greater workforce diversity may lead to the improvement of the work environment in hospitals, retention of care providers from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and enhancement of patient outcomes through the provision of greater access to medical service for the unprivileged populations and better patient-doctor or patient-nurse communication.

References

Cohen, J. J., Gabriel, B. A., & Terrell, C. (2002). The case for diversity in the health care workforce. Health Affairs, 21(5), 90-102. Web.

(2015). Web.

Hunt, B. (2007). Managing equality and cultural diversity in the health workforce. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 16(12), 2252-2259. Web.

Melillo, K. D., Dowling, J., Abdallah, L., Findeisen, M., & Knight, M. (2013). Bring diversity to nursing: recruitment, retention, and graduation of nursing students. Journal Of Cultural Diversity, 20(2), 100-104.

National Diversity Awards. (n.d.). About. Web.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, & Bureau of Health Professions. (2006). The rationale for diversity in the health professions: A review of the evidence. Web.

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