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Cultural Competence in Social Care and Health

What is "cultural competence"?

Culture is an aspect of identity, which we all have. Culture is based on a number of things that are shared with others such as language, history, beliefs, attitudes, festivals, musical tastes, clothing, diet and more. Culture is essentially about sharing with other people of the same culture. Culture is not inferior or superior - it's just different.

In health and social care, there has been a shift in recent years towards cultural competence & # 39; as a key aspect of all professional practices. The idea of ​​a worker who is 'competent' in working with others from different cultures is a step from being ' sensitive ' to the needs of others. The view that professionals need to be competent in working with differences and cultures is simply & # 39; sensitive ' he seems to have gained strength in recent years. Thus, the term cultural competence has replaced the term cultural sensitivity in social work and healthcare.

If employees are seen as culturally competent, then they need to be able to articulate what their cultural competence is. On the contrary the concept of competence concept shows that those who do not have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the role of people's culture are by definition incompetent & # 39; in their workplace if they are unable to work effectively to meet the needs of many people.

There is a long-standing view that competence consists of knowledge, values ​​and skills (examples: Maclean and Caffrey 2009).

In our view, culturally competent practices involve:

1. Knowledge and understanding of:

· Your own culture
· Any cultural bias you may have
· The concept of culture and how it can influence beliefs and behaviors
· Certain cultural knowledge

2. Various values ​​and attitudes, including commitment to:

· Appreciate and celebrate differences
· Respect the personality and role that culture plays in this regard

3. And a variety of skills, including:

· Cultural communication ability
· Efficient assessment of culture
· Provision of sensitive cultural care

It is important to realize that culture is an aspect of one's identity. It's not like that. overall identity and it does not act as a predictor of how a person will behave and what they will believe. Everyone will choose the aspect of their cultural identity that they will share. it's okay. and that they won't. Thus, everyone will have a unique approach to their culture - leading to the complexity of the ways in which culture influences individual needs and desires.

Cultural Efficiency and Self Awareness for Employees in Health and Social Care

If social and health care workers are culturally competent, they need to develop some key skills and knowledge for effective practice. To appreciate the different cultures in which people fully relate and form effective working relationships with consumers and service providers, it is important to understand the diversity that exists in everyday life.

In all cultures and religious groups there are different variations in practice and it is important to realize that strictness and compliance are determined individually. Workers who are culturally competent will appreciate that the culture is not monolithic and that it would be dangerous to provide services based on stereotypical concepts, such as "a Jew", "a Hindu", or a "Muslim". Some people who are born into the religious community may not consider themselves members of the community. For people of other religions, their traditions and rituals may be important, but they may not adhere to, say, strict dietary requirements. Therefore, it is important to enable individuals to determine their own culture and religion.

The way in which people see themselves and their identities will be influenced by their culture and religion, but this can differ between different groups and according to the individual's personal preferences. Our way of life is influenced by the environment in which we all live.

If we accept that culture is not better or worse than one another, but only different, then we need to clarify that some ideas and 'truths' that we bring to our own work is rooted in culture. As workers in social care and health we also have our own culture, both as individuals in the community and as employees of organizations and members of cultural teams. Culturally competent practices involve an understanding of the values ​​we bring to our work, and a sophisticated awareness of how oppression, cultural stereotypes and prejudices of others operate to harm others. Competent practitioners can understand these concepts, see how they relate to their practice, and reflect on their own values ​​and 'truth'. about their own culture and that of others.

Robinson (2007: 169) states:

"Ethics refers to universal truth or principle, whereas emic refers to culture-specific truth."

People who work with others must have some understanding of the fact that not all of the truths we bring are ethical in order to appreciate the impact that our own culture and educators have on our beliefs about the world. We cannot work effectively with others who have different emails of our own if we assert that all 'truth' I'm sorry. (i.e. beliefs, values, aspirations, etc.) should be just like ours.


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