Healthcare professionals have, over the years, wrestled with determining the best way to become culturally competent. Knowledge is important, but Tervalon and Murray-Garcia (1998) suggest that achieving cultural humility is equally important.
The authors note that the standard of competence in clinical training as detached mastery of a finite body of knowledge may not be the best concept in the area of culture. Cultural humility is proposed as the best stance for learning about other cultures. Cultural humility includes lifelong learning, including evaluating and critiquing your own behavior. Power imbalances in the therapeutic relationship must be assessed and addressed to develop a non-paternalistic, mutually beneficial relationship that includes advocacy for both individuals and groups.
The National Association of Social Workers (2015) includes humility in its cultural standards. Social workers are expected to “demonstrate cultural humility and sensitivity to the dynamics of power and privilege in all areas of social work” (pg 4).
Cultural humility is defined as learning about a person’s culture and then communicating, offering help and sharing decision making, when working with people at the micro, mezzo and macro level. It is an “other-oriented” mindset that focuses on how the person’s social experiences affect their behavior.
The healthcare professional listens and learns, rather than taking an authoritarian stance. The person being served is, after all, the expert in the way their culture affects their lives. Empowerment flows from the validation of the person in their culture.
This is a lifelong process. Researchers have described the process as a constant state of “being-in-becoming.” A lifelong commitment to learning and becoming more and more competent in multicultural and social justice is required, as well as the willingness to apply cultural humility to your practice.
Course excerpt from:
Cultural Awareness in Clinical Practice is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides the foundation for achieving cultural competence and diversity in healthcare settings.
Cultural competence, responding to diversity and inclusion, are important practices for healthcare professionals. This course will help you to gain an awareness of bias and provide strategies to adjust your clinical mindset and therapeutic approach to adapt to “the other” – people who differ in color, creed, sexual identification, socio-economic status, or other differences that make inclusion difficult.
Inclusion is defined as “the state of being included” or “the act of including,” which is something all clinicians should strive for. This course is designed to provoke thought about culture, diversity, and inclusion. Even though research for evidence-based practice is somewhat limited in this area, the concept of cultural competency (however it is defined and measured) is a key skill for healthcare professionals to create an inclusive therapeutic environment. Course #31-07 | 2018 | 57 pages | 20 posttest questions
Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more. Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!
Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).
Target Audience: Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, Marriage & Family Therapist (MFTs), Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs), Occupational Therapists (OTs), Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), School Psychologists, and Teachers