Culturally Competent Care for Nurses: A Cornerstone of Caring
A self-directed online program provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health

Culturally Competent Care for Nurses: A Cornerstone of Caring

Program: Culturally Competent Care for Nurses: A Cornerstone of Caring

Approval active from: June 20, 2019 – June 19, 2021 (Expiration date)

Approval Statement: US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health Online Course entitled: Culturally Competent Care for Nurses: A Cornerstone of Caring is approved for 7 CEs and 2 Ethics CEs (total of 9 CEs), by the Patient Advocate Certification Board to satisfy the requirements for Board Certified Patient Advocates (BCPA). Approval code: 18013

Learning Objectives:

  • Define concepts related to culturally and linguistically appropriate services in nursing practice
  • Identify strategies to promote self-awareness about attitudes, beliefs, biases, and behaviors that may influence the nursing care or services they provide.
  • Devise strategies to enhance skills toward the provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate services.
  • Demonstrate the advantages of the adoption of the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in their practice

Rationale and Evidence for BCPA Approval:

This course relates to the Domains of Practice for the Board Certified Patient Advocate in a number of ways.  After taking the course, one will quickly realize that the material covered in this course is relevant to ALL portions of the Role and Functions of a Patient Advocate document. 

  1. Scope of Practice and Transparency:  In order to set expectations and abide by laws, a patient advocate must be aware of the various laws related to language access and translation services available.  Being able to communicate that information and understanding how HIPAA is related to language and translation services, including American Sign Language, is important and relevant for all BCPAs.  If working with clients who do not speak English as a first language or do not speak the advocate’s native language, clear discussions and transparency about those differences needs to occur.
  2. Empowerment, Autonomy, Rights, and Equity: All patients are guaranteed certain rights regarding language access and culturally appropriate services regarding their health care.  It is incumbent upon providers and advocates to know those laws and patients’ rights.  A significant aspect of empowering patients and achieving equity is helping minority patients gain access to services and navigate a system that is often set up to privilege those who are in the majority.  The information contained in this workshop provides information about the legal rights of all patients to interpreters, translated materials, and the methods by which providers and health care systems can best work to help accommodate those who are seeking the services in these systems. The CLAS standards are presented and explained, as is the difference between translators and interpreters.  Discussion of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and low health literacy are key elements of the modules, and tips and strategies for working with these individuals are also provided.
  3. Communication and Interpersonal Relationships:  Working with people from different backgrounds to build trust and relationships is key to being an effective advocate.  When working with individuals from different cultural groups, building that trust and effective relationships can sometimes be challenging.  Learning to understand one’s own personal biases and how those personal views impact the way we view and treat others—even if unconsciously—is key to becoming more culturally competent.  Recognizing that cultural competence involves more than just racial or ethnic differences is also a part of this relationship building.  Understanding our personal reactions to sexual preference, sex, religion, weight, and individuals with other disabilities will impact our ability to establish relationships and will impact the way we interact with and treat those individuals. These courses address the concepts of bias, essentialism, stereoptypes, discrimination, prejudice, and the impact that these constructs have on our interpersonal communication.
  4. Healthcare Access, Finance, and Management:  The third course in this workshop has to do with the last section of the CLAS Standards and with effective organizational cultural competence.  This last course examines how organizations engage in continual assessment and improvement to be sure that they are best addressing the needs of the local community and the individuals within the organization. Looking at the barriers to access, the responsibilities of the organization to the community, the ways that the community changes over time, gathering data about the community, and constantly working to improve services is a key part of being a culturally competent organization.  Building alliances with key organizations and strategic partners in the community is also discussed in this section of the workshop.  Patient advocates are often working to link their clients with various services or resources within a community.  The information presented in the course is relevant to the items listed in the Healthcare, Access, Finance, and Management section of the PACB document.
  5. Medical Knowledge and the Healthcare System: A significant issue among many individuals who are trying to work within the healthcare system is low health literacy.  The course notes that 9 out of 10 people have some deficiency in health literacy.  Those who come from minority backgrounds, who speak English as a second language, or who come from low income backgrounds tend to have lower health literacy than others.  Low health literacy impacts peoples’ medical knowledge and their ability to navigate the healthcare system.  This program provide insight into how to assess health literacy and to how to help patients and clients who have low health literacy.
  6. Professionalism, Professional Development, and Practice:  Throughout this course there are a variety to case studies and videos that allow the viewer to watch and then reflect on the principles presented throughout.  This process allows the advocate to look at his or her own behaviors in comparison to the ideas being taught and to reflect on what is appropriate and how to improve his or her own practice.  Additionally, there are many links throughout the program that allow the viewer to link to resources outside of the program itself for additional information to help further develop skills or to seek additional information.  The viewer is able to gather much more information on the topic if so motivated. The information is up-to-date and will clearly serve to help the advocate become better educated about this aspect of being a culturally competent health care advocate.
  7. Ethical, Legal and Practice Standards: As mentioned before, Transparency and Honest Disclosure is an important point that is emphasized throughout this training program and is consistent with PACB’s ethical guidelines. Being culturally competent as an advocate will also help to foster the patient’s autonomy, another key component of the ethical guidelines.  Specifically, the guidelines argue that in fostering autonomy, we are to “promote existing statutory rights and support rights of disenfranchised people and communities.”  PACB Ethics states that we are to encourage completion of necessary documents, and getting those documents in a language the patient can read may be a part of ensuring that they are able to complete the task. We are “committed to assisting clients of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds” and “mindful of cultural context and work to understand preferences.”  This program helps to ensure that advocates can fulfill these ethical obligations