Improving Agency Level Cultural Competence

NURS 6720 Week 6: Assessing and Improving Agency Level Cultural Competence

Improving Agency Level Cultural Competence

NURS 6720: Population-based Public Health Nursing Interventions | Week 6

Consider the client-provider paradigm of cultural competence and its influence on health care delivery, as well as your own experiences as a unique cultural being. In this course we continue to look at the important issue of cultural competence at the organizational level. In the context of health equity with the goal of reducing -and ultimately eliminating-health disparities between groups of people, the cultural competence of health care organizations is critical. To what extent have the health organizations you have worked for in the past exhibited the ability to provide care to communities with diverse populations, values, beliefs, and behaviors? A culturally competent organization brings together knowledge about the different groups of people they serve and transforms that knowledge into standards, policies, and practices that allow for the delivery of culturally competent care.

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One important strategy in delivering care to diverse populations is the concept of cultural tailoring of our programs and interventions to be congruent with the cultural beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of our clients. Cultural understanding and knowledge of the population being served provides the foundation upon which to develop culturally competent programs. How would you measure agency level cultural competence? You will begin to explore these questions this week and reflect on the unique role PHNs have in advocating for social change. You also will continue to develop your course project Logic Model focusing on how culture competency indicators are addressed.

As you continue to engage in your practicum, remember to record your hours and activities and reflect on your experiences in your practicum setting. Your Practicum Time Log and Journal is due in Week 7.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Assess cultural competence of public health agencies
  • Analyze the role of the PHN in advocating for social change
  • Revise logic models*

*The Assignment related to this Learning Objective is introduced this week and submitted in Week 11.

Discussion : Improving Agency Level Cultural Competence

Cultural competence depends on the development of an attitude of acceptance of others among health care providers. Foundational to this attitude of acceptance is an awareness of, sensitivity to, and knowledge of the meaning of culture and its influence in shaping human behavior. Cultural competence is a process that begins with one’s willingness to learn about cultural issues, and proceeds with the commitment to incorporate the importance of culture at all levels of an organization (Anderson & McFarland, 2015). This commitment is operationalized in an organization through the cultural tailoring of services to meet the unique cultural needs of the diverse populations served.

Developing the skills to assess cultural competence on the provider and agency level will prove invaluable as you progress in your career. This area will evolve and continue to move to the forefront as the populations served become increasingly diverse.

For this Discussion, you will begin to assess the cultural competence of your practicum placement agency.

To Prepare:

  • Focus on the different populations within the area/community that your agency provides services to
  • Consider the culture of the providers and its influence on the provided care

By Day 3

Post a brief summary of the cultural competence of your assigned agency in regard to delivery of care to diverse populations. Address the following categories in your assessment, and highlight strengths, as well as opportunities for improvement:

  • Staff attitudes and policy
  • Services
  • Agency-community relationship
  • Training
  • Evaluation

Considering the domain of cultural competence, explain why public health nurses should play a role in advocating for policy and social change. In addition, discuss specific strategies that a public health nurse might use to advocate for cultural competence at the organizational, community, and provider level.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses

Respond on or before Day 6 to at least two of your colleagues by suggesting at least one way to improve cultural competence within the agency based on your experience and review of scholarly research.


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