According to International Students Identity Development Stages under Peter Adlers Model, I am at the independence stage in the racial identity development having lived in America for the last five years. I am at the stage where I have learned to understand and accept the diversity of the American and my Arabian culture. This is a phenomenon that my increased tolerance toward different beliefs in lifestyles reflects. I have realized that in medicine, one provides healthcare for people from different cultural backgrounds, necessitating the need to learn how to respect peoples diversity. Despite various beliefs and worldviews, I am now opener to understanding them before being judgmental. Through this approach, I have to learn more about the American culture, a phenomenon that made me engage in a constructive exchange with my colleagues. Nowadays, I make many efforts to discover more about the beliefs of the American culture as a means of expanding my scope of racial identity development. In fact, reaching this stage has been very helpful in meeting a requirement for the cultural competence in the healthcare, which presupposes allocation of care in a manner that maintains the dignity of the patients. Accordingly, my optimum goal is to make sure that I am in a position to help the patients in a way that respects their beliefs. I believe that such approach will help me establish and maintain a strong connection with my patients as well as win their trust. As a result, I will be in a position to get detailed medical history of their illnesses, supplying medical care in an evidence-based manner.
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Healthcare providers have either knowingly or unknowingly been agents of ethnic or racial health disparities mainly due to predetermined perception of the society. This is particularly evident when people from different ethnic or racial backgrounds receive different treatment. One of the examples when a healthcare provider causes this disparity includes influencing the patients to believe the perception that they adopted from the society (Ryn & Fu 249). For example, there is a popular misconception that a certain disease is common only among some ethnic groups. It also influences the patients expectation of the effective healthcare system, in particular those people who have disadvantaged background. In general, social prejudices can affect the effectiveness of treatment and its results.
Communication is a crucial aspect when it comes to accessing healthcare services. Due to effective verbal interaction, a patient can easily navigate the system of health services. In case there is a communication barrier, the healthcare providers may give different information to the people from different ethnic and racial groups, which is the first sign of disparity (Ryn & Fu 249). Additionally, since the healthcare practitioners have the authority to distribute the services, they may sometimes prevent some people from accessing certain treatment programs that other groups take advantage of.
The main reason why the healthcare providers fuel inequality in the healthcare lies in three primary variables, stereotypes, generalizations, and assumptions. It is through stereotypes that health professionals associate certain conditions with a certain ethnic/racial group (Ryn & Fu 251). For example, it is a common belief that black children are at a higher risk of experiencing negligence than those who belong to the white race (Ryn & Fu 249). On the other hand, generalization is another way in which the healthcare providers overlook or ignore the evidence that the patients give as a means of providing the relevant caregiving approach. Such stereotypes make some people believe that they cannot afford certain treatment, and, thus, the healthcare providers tend to deny them access to the important information (Ryn & Fu 250). For example, research indicates that in specialty care black people with dialysis have limited information on the possible transplant medication (Ryn & Fu 249). Lastly, the assumption is another issue that leads to diminishing the demand for allocating medical care in a patient-centered manner. When the health care providers assume that certain situations are prevalent among all people from a certain ethnic group, they may subject them to a partial and unfair treatment. For example, non-white people are less likely to receive pain medication as compared to white individuals (Ryn & Fu 249). Generalization is a challenge that negatively impacts the cognitive thinking of the healthcare providers during the assessment and treatment process (Ryn & Fu 250). It is, therefore, clear that assumptions, generalization, and stereotypes play a detrimental role as it makes the medical workers consider irrelevant information on patients regarding the treatment process.
As a result, health practitioners allocate the health services in an unequal manner, making people disadvantaged in terms of accessing both the right information and the services. Since the assumptions, generalization, and stereotypes have a considerable influence on the assessment and treatment process, it is clear that either knowing or unknowing actions of healthcare providers lead to unequal access to the healthcare assistance. Under these circumstances, some patients receive services that are not applicable to their condition or may even be harmful to some extent.
Racial identity development is crucial in building the ideology of being open-minded, which is very helpful phenomenon when it comes to personal growth. At the individual level, RID is crucial in developing cultural tolerance. This empowers one to interact with different people from different backgrounds, accepting cultural diversity and different worldviews. It also leads to increased self-awareness whereby one has a precise understanding of the self and the surroundings regarding cultural diversity. As for the healthcare system, RID is crucial in the attainment of cultural competence. When one is more conversant with many cultures, it becomes possible to identify the most effective possible approach that one needs to utilize in the treatment process. Bringing equality in the healthcare system not only depends on allocating health services to the people but providing them in a manner that considers their cultural and individual peculiarities. Therefore, through the RID, a caregiver can provide an appropriate treatment for the patients in a way that meets their needs and requirements. Moreover, better understanding of the different cultures is helpful in identifying the potential behavioral patterns that might be relevant to a certain type of illness in a particular ethnic group. This information is necessary for selecting a primary level care and tailoring it to the needs and peculiarities of a specific group of people.
It is important that the patients receive comprehensive guidance about their particular medical case and possible methods of treatment, which minimizes the chances of a misunderstanding or conflict of interest. Moreover, if patients receive medical services from a caregiver who is competent in RID, it becomes possible for them to trust him or her due to the mutual respect between the caregiver and patients. This trust is crucial since the latter have confidence in the former, and, therefore, reveals all the relevant information necessary for the treatment process. As a result, such interaction significantly improves the healthcare system. Furthermore, the caregiver with RID knowledge can provide their patients with the necessary instructions on how to protect themselves from diseases. Due to RID, the healthcare providers are well conversant with potential risk factors for the particular ethnic group, which can also improve their general well-being.
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