Cultural competence and cultural sensitivity
Cultural competence and cultural sensitivity are two terms used in the healthcare field to refer to an individual’s ability to effectively interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds. Cultural competence is a broader term that refers to an individual’s overall knowledge and understanding of how culture influences health care decisions, beliefs, and practices. It consists of three main components: awareness, knowledge, and skills. In order for an individual to be culturally competent they must have the ability to recognize their own biases as well as those of other cultures while also being able to recognize the importance of cultural differences.
On the other hand, cultural sensitivity is more focused on behavior and communication techniques when interacting with people from diverse backgrounds. This includes respecting boundaries by not making assumptions about a person’s preferences or values based on their culture as well as using language appropriate for each particular situation. Furthermore, it involves open-mindedness towards any potential misunderstandings due to language barriers or unfamiliar concepts related to another culture’s medical practice. Ultimately both terms are necessary in order for professionals in the healthcare industry build trust with patients from all walks of life which leads towards improved patient outcomes.