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Culture refers to integrated patterns of human behavior that include language, thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions of racial, ethnic, religious, or social groups (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.).As providers, we must know other people’s cultures and work with them by offering unbiased services. To avoid misunderstandings, being culturally competent is the only way we can see clients through their eyes. Culturally competent care requires the healthcare provider to be aware of and responsive to patients’ backgrounds and cultural experiences, including their preferences, values, language, and traditions (Balls et al., 2019).
TJ is a lesbian, which places her in a vulnerable population. Caring for this patient includes giving care that targets specific people, social and structural equality of care, and avoiding discrimination and stigmatization (Bass & Nagy, 2021). When assessing this patient, use the RESPECT model (Rapport, Empathy, Support, Partnership, Explanations, Cultural Competence, and Trust). See the patient’s point of view and do not allow ethnocentrism to make your judgment. Ethnocentrism happens when we implicitly believe our way of doing things and seeing things is the right and only way. As a result, we negatively judge behaviors that do not conform with ours (Compoint, 2017).
Connect with the patient, do not judge, and remember that she has come to you. Be aware of your cultural biases and back off when you suspect them. TJ belongs to a community that have unfortunately experienced a challenging history, but health professionals can learn to provide compassionate, comprehensive, and high-quality care with education (Bass & Nagy, 2021). The targeted questions that I will ask are
- Tell me more about your significant other
- During your free time, what activities do you do?
- Do you have practices performed during pregnancies that you’d like to share?
- When you feel troubled and anxious, what do you do?
- Tell me more about your family and work if you have any.
Provide patient education and mention the possibility of gestational diabetes since she has a strong family history of diabetes. The case study does not say how far she is in her pregnancy and if the discharge has an odor. It is very typical for pregnant women to have vaginal discharge, especially towards the end of their pregnancy, for it helps prevent infections from traveling up to the womb from the vagina. Prevalence of anxiety, depression, and suicide is higher in LGBTQ people than for the general population, so be vigilant in watching for symptoms of these conditions with TJ. Encourage pap smears and regular screening because the majority may think that because they have same-sex significant other, it is unnecessary to have those check-ups.
Communicating with someone from a different culture needs one to be competent to avoid bias, which is more problematic when it is a sensitive client. Pregnant women develop mood swings and feel tearful or easily irritated. TJ, a lesbian, may be uncomfortable talking about their sexual behaviors and hormone use, which will be a barrier when trying to get a complete sexual history. Instead of ethnocentrism, providers should embrace cultural humility, which involves the ability to recognize one’s limitations in knowledge and cultural perspective and be open to new perspectives (Ball et al., 2019).
Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Seidel’s guide to physical examination: An interprofessional approach (9th ed.). Elsevier Mosby.
Bass, B., & Nagy, H. (2021). Cultural Competence in the Care of LGBTQ Patients. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (n.d.). Retrieved from https://npin.cdc.gov/pages/cultural-competence
Compoint, T. (2017). Succeed as an inclusive leader: Winning leadership habits in a diverse world. CreateSpace