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Supervision Intervention Strategies

Glossary of Cultural Competence Terms [2.8.12.c]

The following definitions are based on information from the following two sources:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, and the Community Tool Box, a public service of the University of Kansas. They are reprinted here with their permission[1].

The capacity to function effectively as an individual and an organization within the context of the cultural beliefs, behaviors, and needs presented by consumers and their communities.

: The thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions of racial, ethnic, religious, or social groups. Cultural issues are central in the delivery of health services treatment and prevention interventions. By understanding, valuing, and incorporating the cultural differences of America's diverse population and examining one's own health-related values and beliefs, health care organizations, practitioners, and others can support a health care system that responds appropriately to, and directly serves the unique needs of populations whose cultures may be different from the prevailing culture.

Cultural Blindness
: Differences are ignored and one proceeds as though differences do not exist. ("There's no need to worry about a person's culture; if you're sensitive, you'll do OK.")

Cultural Imposition:
Belief that everyone should conform to the majority. ("We know what's best for you. If you don't like it you can go elsewhere.")

Cultural and Linguistic Competence in Health:
A set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals that enables effective work in cross-cultural situations.

Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services:
Health care services that are respectful of and responsive to cultural and linguistic needs.

 Differential treatment of an individual due to minority status, both actual and perceived. ("We just aren't equipped to serve people like that.")

: Inability to accept another culture's world view. ("My way is best.")

Generalizing about a person while ignoring the presence of individual differences. ("She's like that because she's Asian; all Asians are nonverbal.")

The National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University provides additional definitions for cultural competence terms and a related Glossary.
[1] KU Work Group for Community Health and Development. (2010). Part H. Cultural Competence, Spirituality, and the Arts and Community Building (Chapters 27 - 29). Retrieved January 2, 2010, from the World Wide Web.

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