A health care practitioner is responsible for delivering holistic care treatment to the people under a defined level of supervision (Van & Reeves, 2011). A health care practitioner has to interact with the number of people daily. It is therefore essential to know the cultural background of different people to provide them with effective care.
While working at a local health care facility as a health care practitioner, I have encountered several situations where I have seen people with different cultural backgrounds struggling to get the desired treatment. The reason for these difficulties is a lack of communication and cultural in-competency of health care practitioners. Belonging from a different cultural background, I can associate myself with the struggles that people face in health care facilities. The discrimination based on culture and religion is very common even in healthcare facilities due to the lack of cultural competence.
The incident I will be reflecting upon occurred while I was doing my internship at a community hospital a few years back. As I was an internee, the hospital in charge used to put me in different departments o that I can get awareness regarding how every department works and how to provide medical services to people having different diseases. While on duty, a young boy belonging from a Chinese family was rushed into the hospital due to severe stomach ache. After a few hours, the boy's condition was stable, and he was shifted into the ward. Typically, in most Asians countries, it is a general perception that taking care of an ill person is highly rewarding. Not only in Asian countries but in eastern Asian countries also people consider it a noble deed to take care of an ill (Chang & Dong, 2012). The mother of the boy wanted to take her son home so that she can take of her. Even the boy was willing to leave the hospital and wanted to go home. I was also curious regarding what decision a physician will take as the boy had food poison, and there was no need for him to stay in the hospital for so long.
After hours of conservation, the physician disapproved boy's discharge from the hospital. I was an internee, yet still, I managed to gain courage and discuss it with the physician that Asian culture is different from other culture, and a boy will recover soon while staying at home. Belonging from an eastern Asian country, I know that even the patients do not feel comfortable while staying at home. Despite my efforts, the physician disregards my idea and also rejected the importance of culture while treating a patient. However, the amount of distress that the boy faced while staying at the hospital affected him negatively, and he starts getting weaker and weaker. Eventually, the physician understood that hospital care was not enough, and the boy needs to go home to recover.
The incident highlighted several flaws that almost every health ca facility is facing. Thus, there is a need to have awareness regarding cultural competence among health care professionals so that they can treat patients effectively (Kirmayer, 2012).
Chang, E. S., Simon, M., & Dong, X. (2012). Integrating cultural humility into health care professional education and training. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 17(2), 269-278.
Kirmayer, L. J. (2012). Rethinking cultural competence.
Van Soeren, M., Hurlock-Chorostecki, C., & Reeves, S. (2011). The role of nurse practitioners in hospital settings: implications for interprofessional practice. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 25(4), 245-251.
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