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Healthcare: Have you been trained in cultural competency (sensitivity)? Should this be a requirement for healthcare workers to receive licensure?

Comments: 25

I have not been trained in cultural competency. This is not yet a requirement for Occupational Therapists nor Physical Therapists at this point. In my opinion since the medical doctors are being required to take courses for renewal of their licensure it validates the necessity for the health care professional to also seek this kind of sensitivity within their respective fields.

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Leslie McDonnell
UFT
Piscataway, NJ

What a crock of crap and a waste of time and money. Disease doesn't care about culture.

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FORREST PARKER
GALVESTON, TX

Yes, all healthcare workers need to be trained in cultural competencies. I believe strongly that ALL workers train in cultural competencies, the sooner the better!! We all work in such diverse organizations, diverse cultures, diverse communities, counties, states or countries. Many are not exposed to the diversity of cultures before leaving home; then in the workforce people may make terrible communication gaffs or insults creating unintentional tense workplace environments all because they do not know about other cultural norms. There are extremists; I'm speaking of those who would be willing to learn/train in diverse cultures.

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MYRA S. BROWN
United Faculty of Florida
Gainesville, FL

Cultural sensitivity is important, but only when it is community specific; I was trained in the late '60s when this issue first arose. I don't think that this should be required to get a license, but to begin work in a community and to renew because populations change. Training should be local, and targeted at the specific populations served. People beginning to work in a multi-ethnic community talking with people they will serve about diet, customs, practices, and fears help to build a community of trust.

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Cherie Boen
Education Minnesota retired
Wadena, MN

Anyone who has respect for themselves should naturally have cultural competency. I think healthcare workers should especially be trained in sensitivity since they will be working with all types of people. It should be part of the license. However, just because it is part of the license doesn't guarantee they will practice it.

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Cheryl Bing-Howard
UFT
Mamaroneck, NY

I do not believe that is should be a requirement to maintain our license. We have all lived in this melting pot our entire lives. We are all faced with challenges daily when it comes to dealing cultural differences. We are all in the customer service business and all of our customers should be treated with dignity and respect. Our customers all have the right to refuse our services and it is their responsibilty to inform us of special needs and requirements they might have. We can not be expected to understand every religion, race and culture that we may come in contact with nor should we be expected to. Just treat everyone with respect!

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John Foss
Pinellas Park, FL

I have been trained in cultural competency more than once and still feel that I can learn more. I am going to Guatamala this summer as part of a program where I will lie with a family and continue my study of Spanish. I do believe that programs like this are beneficial enough that they should be required for all nurses. Most of us filter things through white lenses and need to see things in other ways.

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Edwina Zagami
Chapel Hill, NC

It is important for all healthcare workers to be sensitive and educated about cultural differences and to keep them aware during the time they are employed in their work taking care of Americans. We are all different culturally and live in a society with many freedoms and everyone needs to be conscience of their community and country.

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Cory Bosetti
UFT / AFLCIO 2
Rego Park, NY

I think that it should be a requirement since we live in a society that is comprised of a variety of different cultures. In order to live amicably with them, it is imperative that we understand the elements of each culture so that we can have successful interactions with its members. And, yes, I was trained in cultural competency several years ago. It was very enlightening in that it made me aware of my own biases and prejudices that exist because of my cultural background!

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Lenore Parker
Orlando, FL

YES i HAVE HAD TRAINING AND NO i DON'T THINK IT NEEDS TO BE REQUIRED.

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KATHY JERKINS
PALM HARBOR, FL

Before teaching in the inner city, I was on a selected track focusing on the inner city. Even though I lived in the city, there were issues and situations of which I was unaware. My training helped sensitize me. Yes, training in cultural competency is crucial to anyone in the public sectre.

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Beverly Fradis
Detroit, MI

My school district has made it a requirement to be trained in Cultural Competency. We have core classes and must continue additional training. It is not a part of nursing licensing renewal and I feel that the domestic violence & HIV training could incorporate cultural content without adding any new mandates.

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Kim Palfy
PESPA
Largo, FL

Most definitely. We have become a nation-of-nations. Cultural competency and sensitivity is fundamental to better understanding and better health care. At the Multicultural Council of America, we have been advocating that all healthcare workers must attend seminars & short courses in multiculturalism as Continuing Medical Education to renew or receive their license. Courses on multiculturalism must also be taught at schools while being trained. For more information about MCC, to establish a local chapter of MCC in your area or to support our cause, please visit our website at www.multiculturalcouncil.org or send us an email.

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Dr.Shakil Khan
Troy, MI

Yes. My training came from my parents. It was called respect.

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Lawrence Burke
Baldwin UFSD
Bellerose, NY

What I have had was "staff development" for getting along with coworkers. Generally for someone dealing with the public, this personality trait/skill should be required for job retention and/or promotion. This is something from personal development and growth over the years, not something you will learn in a class that turns your life around. How would someone take a class and turn their behavior around soon enough to avoid the problem that started this cycle? It is years of personality development that makes someone good at this.

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Robert Jacobson
4660
Fargo, ND

I have been trained in cultural sensity; part of my Bachelor's Degree program and many inservices since; I teach Adult immigrants. Train, yes; require for medical licensure, NO!

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John DeGregory
BTU Local #1975
Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, FL

As a retired NYC Guidance Counselor, I strongly feel that Healthcare Providers should be licensed without counting the cost. We live in a world of diversifications culturewise. If I was not trained as a Christian Minister and as an advocate for children, parents and teachers, the work I faithfully did for our society would have been much more difficult if not impossible. Living is getting most difficult and only understanding the people will help.

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Francis Uguru
UFT
Brooklyn, NY

My license does not require the training, however my employer, Kaiser Permanente, wants us to have the training. It is being provided during our steward council meetings. I always hesitate to endorse mandatory training as a condition of employment. I do think that the training is beneficial though.

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Amanda Hill
OFNHP local 5017
Portland, OR

Cultural awareness is part of the training for most, if not all, health care providers. Absolutely no need to add yet another layer legally.

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Jane Torrie
teachers
Denton, TX

As a graduate student in counseling, I have been trained in cultural sensitivity. This should be a requirement since many misunderstandings happen when you do not understand a person's culture. In Greenfield, CA, there was a Triqui man who arranged a marriage according to custom, and was arrested for trafficking his daughter for meat and beer, which were actually the wedding gifts for the ceremony. When one does not understand culture, assumptions are made. It is important to value another person's culture because if you do not, you cannot earn their trust. Without trust, you cannot uncover the information necessary to treat someone.

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Elizabeth Bahn
California Federation of Teachers
Royal Oaks, CA

No, it should not be a requirement. It should be a requirement that all Americans, or would be Americans, should embrace being American. If we have money to spend, it should be helping people understand that they are in this country and so have an obligation to be culturally sensitive to American values and customs. Sadly, the reverse is true. I do not harp on about my heritage--there are plenty of people in my homeland who are preserving that heritage very well. Have I at times felt offended because an American didn't understand my cultural heritage? Sure I have, but how many cultures should we have to understand? It's absurd.

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Marie Private
AFT
Menlo , CA

You must be kidding? A requirement for licensure! Maybe medication pharmacology or health assessment for nurses but another feel good mandate is a waste of time. All nurses receive this in school and it is hypocritical. We must be sensitive to the trendy culture but unions are an arm of the democrat party and would never advocate cultural sensitivity to persons who are on the religious right.

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Barbara Barnes
Milwaukee Co. Nurse
Sussex, WI

What's one more politically-correct sop for the bureaucrats who care nothing about true equality, tolerance or peace? Is there any hope left for speaking plain--as in "calling a spade a spade?" (No, that's not a racist or racially referent metaphor.) No, I have no specific formal training in something called cultural whatever. I did earn a Ph. D. in political science and march with a number of my black brothers and sisters in my native South before it was fashionable to do so. No, don't require it for licensure in any field.

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Bill Biglow
TAUWP
Oshkosh, WI

No, training should not be required, because it is a waste of time and money . A person is either sensitive and fair or they are prejudice. The training only makes both feel resentful of the very cultural diversities you are trying to appease. The more you point out the differences, the more problems there are. We are all people and all have the same human bodies that function the same way no matter what race, creed, color, religion or sexual preference. A person will either recognize that all humans are alike or not. Training will not make a difference.

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Beth Rice
CTA of Palm Beach
West Palm Beach, FL

Yes, most defintely all people that work in Social Services should have these 5 Elements as a requirement to enhance. 1. Awarenance, acceptance and valuing of cultural differences. 2. Awareness of one's own culture and values. 3. Understanding the range of dynamics that result from interaction between people of different cultures. 4.Developing cultural knowledge of the particular community served or access cultural brokers who may have that knowledge. 5.Abilty to adapt indivual interventions, programs,and polices to fit the cultural context of the individual, family or community. To make sure all these elements are being addressed daily.

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Estella Marines
Houston, TX

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