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Nursing Program - RN Information Literacy: Cultural Competence

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Cultural Competence

Image: graphic depicting diversity

What is Cultural Competence in Healthcare?

The goal of culturally competent health care services is to provide the highest quality of care to every patient, regardless of race, ethnicity, cultural background, English proficiency or literacy. Some common strategies for improving the patient-provider interaction and institutionalizing changes in the health care system include:

  • Provide interpreter services
  • Recruit and retain minority staff
  • Provide training to increase cultural awareness, knowledge, and skills
  • Coordinate with traditional healers
  • Use community health workers
  • Incorporate culture-specific attitudes and values into health promotion tools
  • Include family and community members in health care decision making
  • Locate clinics in geographic areas that are easily accessible for certain populations
  • Expand hours of operation
  • Provide linguistic competency that extends beyond the clinical encounter to the appointment desk, advice lines, medical billing, and other written materials

Georgetown Health Policy Institute. (2004 February) What is Cultural Competence in Healthcare? (Issue Brief Number 5) Retrieved from:

Health Information on the Web: Cultural Competence

Transcultural Nursing Research Guide