Cultural Competence Skills Assignment

March 6, 2022

Cultural Competence Skills Assignment

Cultural Competence Skills Assignment

Cultural Competence Skills Assignment

You are assigned to a clinic in which a non-English speaking client communicates through a family member. She is complaining about her current hypertension medication. During the last visit to your clinic, this client was prescribed the medication by the doctor, but the client does not like the side effects the medication caused and stopped taking it.

In a 1-2 page Word document, explain what steps you would take to communicate the importance of taking the medication to this client through her family. In your explanation,** include a script of your dialogue about her lack of adherence to the medication**. Also include what other resources you might need to ensure you are effectively communicating.

APA format

Must include an actual script of the dialogue

Cultural competence is a term that gets thrown around a lot in fields ranging from social justice to literary criticism to healthcare. Even breaking the term down into its individual parts misses some of the nuance of what it’s all about.

Cultural: Of or relating to the customary beliefs, social forms and material traits of a racial, religious or social group


Competence: The quality or state of having sufficient knowledge, judgment, skill or strength (as for a particular duty or in a particular respect)

Chances are you know a lot of people who grew up in a household of immigrants but went to school with you and everybody else in the community, picking up all the local culture along the way. Culture really isn’t fixed in place, it blends with other cultures to form new ones, and changes over time.

No matter how much you might know about the place a person comes from, you can’t really assume you truly understand their culture entirely. And in that reality, can you ever really have sufficient knowledge and judgement to assess a person’s culture? Or is it more likely that you will need to always be learning, always acquiring fresh skills? This is why having an open mind and the ability to take people and groups as they are on a case by case basis is a big part of being culturally competent.

Not only is cultural competence always a moving target, it’s also a two-way street. Your own cultural background plays a role in how you relate to other cultures, and how people in those cultures relate to you.

There is no single set of knowledge or skills you can pick up that will certify you as being culturally competent. There are thousands of cultures and subcultures in this world, and hundreds of thousands of unique combinations as those cultures merge with each other. Part of being respectful of cultural diversity is realizing that you can’t possibly fully understand them all – no one can.

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Defining Cultural Competence In The World of Human Services
Most people in human services today view cultural competence as more of a process than a product.

There are four elements that go into developing cultural competency:

Awareness – Of your own view of the cultural world
Attitude – Toward difference between cultures
Knowledge – Of diverse cultural beliefs, views, and practices

Cultural Competence Skills Assignment

Cultural Competence Skills Assignment

Skills – In dealing with the differences between different cultures and with their interrelationships
Cultural competency can have different meanings in different contexts. In the field of human services, the applications can depend on the cultural concepts most closely related to the kind of practice you work in. Some examples:

Psychology – Therapists working with Latino youth have learned to adopt the use of Interpersonal Psychotherapy in their practices after finding it to be a culturally effective treatment because it aligns with Latino values.
Social Services – At the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center in New York, social workers dealing with medical issues among a largely Chinese immigrant population are particularly careful to get a full history of the use of herbal medicines.
Counseling – Marriage and family therapists working with Black clients lean on the strengths of Black family culture with new data showing better therapeutic outcomes.
The CDC offers their own cultural competence definition in health and human services work.

“Cultural and linguistic competence is 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.” ~ Centers for Disease Control

This definition was adopted after studies found that racial and ethnic minorities tend to receive a lower standard of care even when controlling for income, wealth, and location factors.

Of course, this is true not just in healthcare, but across the spectrum of human services. And that’s the exact thing that makes cultural competence such an important topic today in the era of racial reconciliation.

Historical Perspectives on Cultural Competency Definitions in Human Services
On a practical level, social workers and other human services professionals have always had to be culturally competent to be able to do their jobs. It’s impossible to build a rapport with individuals or within a community if you don’t have respect and understanding.

But this was not emphasized as a point in human services education until relatively recently. A retrospective study in 2000 found that human diversity issues were only discussed in social work literature in about 8 percent of published articles from 1970 to 1997.

It wasn’t that no one recognized that different cultures might have different standards. Instead, there was just a different perspective on how to handle those differences.


Social services for immigrants in the United States originally focused on assimilation rather than cultural recognition.


In the early years of social services, assimilation was the big thing. America was seen, for good reason, as the world’s melting pot. A big stew of races, cultures, and concepts cooked up a unique mix where everyone celebrates both St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo, and Polish kielbasa with German sourcrout is available at every hot dog stand on any street corner in the country.

But the melting pot analogy overshadowed what was being left out, or appropriated without acknowledgement. Not every minority made it into that stew. Social work educators and others focused on trying to wedge Native Americans, African Americans, and Asians into the dominant Western ideological perspective.

By the 1960’s, it was becoming clear that this paternalistic approach was failing. Some threads of multiculturalism started to emerge in human services. By the 1970s, psychologists were exploring why traditional Western psychotherapeutic techniques tended to fail with patients from less verbal cultural backgrounds, such as those from many African nations. The Western traditions built into the entire field of modern psychology were rooted in notions of individualism and structure that weren’t universal in human culture. Treatments based on those concepts weren’t serving other populations well.

In 1982, anthropologist James Green published the book Cultural Awareness in the Human Services, which offered some of the first ethnographic approaches to delivering culturally-aware social services. And in 1989, the term cultural competence was first used and described by Terry Cross, founder of the National Indian Child Welfare Association, co-author of the paper Towards a Culturally Competent System of Care and a member of the Seneca Nation.

Posted in nursing by Clarissa