1. Inoshita, Faith RN, MSN

Article Content

Want to make yourself a more marketable health care commodity? Demonstrate a solid understanding of cultural diversity.


Changes to U.S. demographic patterns emphasize the need for culturally driven patient care. But many of our country's health care facilities practice in a way that isn't congruent with patients' beliefs, values, and health regimens. This negatively impacts patients' willingness to accept health advice or to modify their lifestyle.


Recent projections show that by the year 2020, the Caucasian population will decrease by 53%, while the number of African Americans will double, and the number of Asian Americans and Hispanic Americans will triple. 1 The state of Hawaii, for example, is a true melting pot: In 1996, immigrants arrived at a rate of 7 per 1,000 residents, compared to the national rate of 3.5 per 1,000. 2


Bring it to the table

Facilities seek leaders with a knowledge of-and appreciation for-culturally sensitive care. Convey your willingness to:


[white diamond suit] analyze patient demographics to get a true sense of patients' identity-including age, ethnicity, cultural variations, language, education levels, and literacy


[white diamond suit] assess patients' education and reading levels to reduce miscommunication, thereby promoting patients' understanding of their conditions and trust of caregivers


[white diamond suit] teach competency, which will help caregivers overcome issues such as religious practices, socioeconomic conditions, language, and comprehension levels that may negatively affect how patients view your facility's staff and care provision.



And don't forget the power of creativity. Emphasize your ability to think outside the box, which enables you to successfully respond to almost any patient situation.




1. Giger, J., and Davidhizar, R.:Transcultural Nursing: Assessment & Intervention, St. Louis, Mo.: Mosby Press, 1999. [Context Link]


2. U.S. Census Bureau:Statistical Abstract of the United States. Available on-line: [Context Link]