Diversity and Healthcare

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Healthcareis one of the most important aspects of human life. Despite theadvancements realized over the years, diversity and disparities havemarred the positive progress. As such, minority groups have beenidentified as severely underrepresented in health professionalism.These minority groups include the African Americans, Latinos, andAmerican Indians. This disparity comes due to the failure of theeducation system to meet the needs of minority and financiallychallenged individuals. Similarly, some admission cultures have ledto underrepresentation. The outcome of these practices is the lowlevels of diversity in the healthcare field. This is a clearindication that individuals are still divided and have not come toterms with the issue of racism.

Healthcarediversity has a significant role to play in the health disparity,which is the difference in clinical outcomes in sections of apopulation. This variance alludes that there is a social malfunctionsince there is a gap in life expectancy, mortality, morbidity, andquality due to the socio-economic status, race, as well as literacylevels. Although the population statistics indicate a considerablepercentage of all ethnic groups, both the well-being outcomes andinvolvement in the health profession are below par (Kevin &ampRosalia, 2008). It is because of this realization that we canunderstand the value of appreciating ethnic diversity. Severalsuggestions and recommendations have been provided as a means ofimproving the situation.

Oneof the processes suggested is the incorporation of health disparitycourses in undergraduate learning. Creating awareness can motivatestudents as well as develop competencies that will push them to worktowards eliminating diversity. The process can also be initiated inthe early stages of education for better impacts. The value of ethnicdiversity cannot be realized until there is a complete acknowledgmentand response to different cultures in a broad sense. As such, thisevent requires the accumulation of skills that enable a trainedprovider to be able to provide services sensitively withoutprejudice, stereotyping and racism. Sensitization is critical inmaking sure that learners view patients as individuals who need theirservices and not as persons of a particular color, class orbackground (Rocio et al., 2014).

Trainingencompasses a wide area including communication, social needs,racism, practical knowledge, social differences, and interaction.Lack of sufficient access to the necessary health services by theminority groups is considered as one of the most paramount issuesthat need to be addressed. Since the world is ever experiencingdiversification, change is inevitable for achieving maximum effects.The general perspectives of the educational system and curricula haveto be remolded. The problem of diversity in Health was discovered andbrought to light through the combined efforts of policy-makers,healthcare providers, and social scientists. Based on the studiesdone by Xue and Brewer (2014), it was found that health professionalsfrom a minority group or a disadvantaged socio-economic backgroundhad a tendency to serve those with similar characteristics better.Also, the involvement of professional healthcare workers is morelikely to cause the improvement of services to the minority due toadvocacy, active participation in policy making and also increase intrust (Kai et al., 1999).

Thefocus of diversity in healthcare does not settle on employment alone.Retention is also an aspect that needs to be addressed. An in-depthprofile on the rates of employment and retention indicates asignificant disproportionate. A lot of policies and best practiceshave been tabled with the aim of improving the current situation.Although there has been a significant change since the introductionof the affirmative action, many things remain untouched. Someapproaches that can work include the revision of admission policies,financial assistance to those who are unable, setting of standardsand evaluation of the benefits accrued. Likewise, another strategyfor the purpose includes commitment to the diverse culturalcompetencies, mentorship, and support for technical skillsimprovement. Also, close mentoring, advertisement of relevantpositions and capacity building are the interventions employed in theretention of learners. Moreover, research programs have initiated animmersion schedule for diverse cultures where students enjoy thecollaboration, mentoring and networking. More can be accomplishedthrough working together in a multicultural environment. Also, theultimate result is positive.

Racialand ethnic diversity has been felt considerably especially innursing. Sufficient evidence points out that despite being wellqualified, black people and the Hispanics are underrepresented in thenursing workforce. Directing finances and other resources towardsimproving diversity is vital. Additionally, the work region of thenurses should be straightforward in a way that does not create anydisparities. This is because relying on immigration as a method ofaddressing diversity has not been effective. Greater levels ofsupport are required to address the gap in the healthcare workforceas the minority groups are expanding regarding both numbers andeducation. Since some states and regions are much needy than others,policies and resources must be invested in an integrated manner bothto the underrepresented groups and the areas with the highestrequirements (Gillis et al., 2010). The best way around the diversityproblem is to develop a targeted strategy that not only addressescultural competence in healthcare but also assists in ensuring thatfuture shortage of providers has been handled (Xue &amp Brewer,2014). The success levels achieved through diversification heavilydetermines the viability and capacity of health professionals.

References

Aiken, L. H. (2007). U.S. nurse labor market dynamics are key to global nurse sufficiency. Health Services Research, 1299–1320.

Gillis, C., Powell, D., &amp Carter, B. (2010). Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Workforce in Nursing: From Evidence to Best Practices to Policy. Policy, Politics, &amp Nursing Practice, 294-301.

Joe, K., John, S., Michael, W., &amp Paramjit, G. (1999). Learning to value ethnic diversity ± what, why and how? Medical Education, 616-623.

Kevin, G. &amp Rosalia, M. (2008). Disparities In Human Resources: Addressing The Lack Of Diversity In The Health Professions. Health Affairs, 413-422.

Rocio, B., Payal, R., &amp Deepak, K. (2014). Addressing Health Disparities in the Undergraduate Curriculum: An Approach to Develop a Knowledgeable Biomedical Workforce. Life Sciences Education, 636-640.

Xue, Y. &amp Brewer, C. (2014). Racial and Ethnic Diversity of the U.S. National Nurse Workforce 1988–2013. Policy, Politics, &amp Nursing Practice, 1-9.

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