Cultural Competence - Video Transcript

What is cultural competence? There are many and varied definitions of this and some people do have issue with it. Because we work in a competency environment and cultural competence is not something that can be ticked off as being competent. It is something that is life long and that evolves and the four main components of cultural competence are the following if you are going to be culturally competent:

  1. The first thing you need to be aware of is your own world view.

    You need to know where you come from. Why you think the way you do. Ask yourself – where does this come from? It comes from your parents, your schooling, your spirituality, your friends, your children, your partners and your work place. It comes from a varied area of your life.
  2. Knowledge and attitude.

    Do you have knowledge of cultural diversity? Do you understand people from other cultures? How do you gain understanding of other cultures? Is it by asking questions about people who come from other cultures?
  3. Acceptance.

    I mean you don’t have to love everything that is culturally different from your own. But what you do have to do as a health professional is to respect other people’s cultures, and suspend your judgement until you fully understand the situation.
  4. Communication skills.

    Many cultures have different ways of communicating. Not only with the spoken word, but with facial gestures, body language, with smiling, with frowning, with shaking of the head and many people get confused – not just because of the actual spoken word or the accent that a person might have, but also the body language. So, when you have a student who is displaying unfamiliar behaviours of communication. Then it is a really good idea to ask that person respectfully what they are communicating, what their communication indicators mean, what does their body language mean and how important is it to that mode of communication?