Review and comparison of three cultural competency education programs for nurses
Perkins, Lanette Cheryl
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Culture and ethnicity often impact the client's perception of health and illness including culturally acceptable treatment and the type of acceptable follow-up. As a culture defines health and illness, it also defines health care and treatment practices. Cultural values determine, in part, how patients will respond to care. Health care professionals are challenged to recognize diversity in order to deliver culturally competent health care. Culturally competent care has been mandated by the federal government. However, the process to select and implement a cultural competency program can present challenges to health care institutions, nursing colleges and nurses. The purpose of this project was to identify and compare evidence-based cultural competence programs developed to enhance the delivery of nursing care to diverse populations. The research included research and review of electronic databases such as Medline, CINAHL and PubMed. The project explored terminology the of individual terms of cultural, competency, and cultural competency. English language articles were selected for review based upon content related to terminology as described the project. Systematic reviews provided a guide for hand search of references lists and relevant journals; included in the literature review were foundation and governmental publications. Personal contact was made with the three selected programs for comparison. The results of the research provided a comparison, demonstrating the strengths of the three programs. The project presented criteria for assessing cultural competency programs, examined application of the three programs for review and consideration for implementation of cultural competency education on the individual, institutional or academic level. Cultural competency programs with an organized framework and clinical cultural competent interventions will play a role in the elimination of disparities and improve health care for all Americans. In conclusion, the provision of culturally competent care will be dependent on future studies including the application of culturally focused interventions, evaluation of the effectiveness of culturally competent education and outcome data reflecting the impact of culturally competent education for nurses and the patient care.