Cultural competence is defined as the ability of providers and organizations to effectively deliver equitable and unbiased health care that meet the social, cultural, and linguistic needs of a culturally diverse patient body. By 2050, minority populations will increase to 48 percent of the U.S. population and Hispanics will represent 24.4 percent of the total population (U.S. Census, 2010). This demographic shift brings challenges and opportunities to universities and organizations alike to create policies and curriculums that foster quality health care amongst students, while also contributing to the eradication of implicit biases that may unwittingly perpetuate healthcare disparities amongst racial and ethnic minority groups. Our research looks to answer the critical question of whether or not health care students are adequately prepared by their universities to deliver healthcare services that are culturally competent and sensitive? Are students aware of the importance of implicit biases and what measures can be taken on an institutional level to ensure that healthcare students are adequately prepared to deliver equitable healthcare to all minority groups. This study looks to gauge the understanding of cultural competence amongst a group of City Tech healthcare students by utilizing a cross-cultural survey of cultural competence questions dealing with poverty, age, stereotypes, illiteracy, homophobia, language, religion, and racism. Our data and research results suggest that many health care students are not able to properly define, nor fully implement cultural competence and sensitivity in their clinical settings. This data is significant because administrators and educators need to incorporate more learning strategies and relevant clinical training so that students may enter the work force better equipped to deliver the highest quality of care to all patients, regardless of race, ethnicity, cultural background, English proficiency or literacy.
Vinokur, Zoya; Leinung, Elaine; Strklja, Jerry; and Dembowska, Natalia, "A Study of Cultural Competence and Implicit Bias Amongst Healthcare Students" (2017). CUNY Academic Works.