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    Importance of Cultural Awareness

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    The pharmacist serves a wide variety of roles in a community. Just like a Mother has the central position in the family, she is a doctor, a teacher, a nurse, a maid, a cook, a referee, a provider, a defender a true superwoman. I see a pharmacist in that same central position in healthcare. They are the medication expert, other roles include communicator, collaborator, scholar, health advocate, manager, and professional. With an only goal in mind; Patient’s Health and wellbeing.

    I would like to share my thoughts concerning the complexities involved in caring for people from diverse cultural background; I came from different country myself. My understanding of whole Health care system in United States was a lot different from past experience in my country of origin. Cultural values give an individual a sense of direction as well as meaning to life. There is a strong relationship between culture and health practice. Although I have been aware of the of the differences before, I now came to see that there were many cultural details that require special knowledge and approach.

    It’s important to have cultural awareness and realize that cultural diversity goes beyond knowing the values, beliefs, practices and customs. In addition to racial division and national origin there are other factors like religious affiliation, language, physical appearance, gender sexual orientation, age, disability, political orientation, socio- economic status and occupational status that plays an important role as a patient’s health determinant.

    Today’s workforce is a mixture of ethnic backgrounds and gender. These demographic diversities can be used to better understand, increase and support multiculturalism and protect minorities right. When it comes to the health care, this might cause many problems for the minorities. At hospitals, patients might face difficulties in communicating their problem to the Providers or they might not get the proper attention needed to be cured. When it comes to Providers belonging to a minority, they might not be trusted by many patients and might face disrespect. These and other such incidents can bring one’s self esteem badly down. Moreover, it deprives a person of a sense of belongingness and makes them feel unwelcomed in the foreign land, which might induce alienation. They do not talk about their health problems much, which may result in worsening of the problem and may cause severely adverse effects on the health of the person.

    It is very important for a healthcare professional to have cultural awareness to improve collaborative, patient-centered care. Identify ways with which the patient’s culture and its features impact on their perceptions, beliefs, values, experiences with health, wellness, illness, suffering. Understand, accept, and respectfully remain welcoming of human diversity. Built Provider-patient relationships, emphasize the importance of the whole person rather than viewing the patient as simply a set of symptoms or an illness and Plan care based to tailor patient’s needs.

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