Diversity in Healthcare
Chinese politician Jintao Hu stated, “Diversity in the world is a basic characteristic of human society, and also the key condition for a lively and dynamic world as we see today.” There is nowhere that we see diversity reflected any more than in the healthcare field. In the article, In Healthcare, Diversity Matters, Crystal Laucel states that approximately 1/3 of the US population is comprised of racial and ethnic minorities. That percentage is growing, so much that it is expected to reach more than half of the population in the next three decades. Why is this important for someone who is considering a career in healthcare? There is a place for everyone in this field, regardless of your background. By understanding the diversity that exists, providers can improve the overall quality of care.
Passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has helped to ensure increased coverage, particularly for the largely minority populations that were not being previously served. Unfortunately, if healthcare professionals cannot effectively work with these patients, then those strides will be for nothing. Numerous studies have shown that patients are more likely to receive quality preventative care and treatment when they share race, ethnicity, language, and / or religious experience with their providers (“Looking to the Future: Improving the Diversity of the Healthcare Workforce”). Having a diverse background then is definitely an advantage in this career field. More importantly than that though is the ability and willingness to develop a sense of tolerance, respect, and understanding about the differences in others. Patricia Prelock, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Vermont, states, “The patients we’re serving now will look very different from those we’re going to be serving in 20 years…if we don’t have the cultural context of those people, we’re not going to be effective as health care professionals.” Cultural awareness means willingness to learn as much as possible about that patient to make their experience a positive one. You can do that regardless of your own background.
At Larock Healthcare Academy, we value the diversity that our students bring to us. They represent a variety of ages, religious beliefs, cultures, languages, educational experiences, sexual orientations, gender identities, ethnicities, races, and more. That only helps to foster a sense of respect for each other and for the healthcare field itself. Regardless of the specific program that you are interested in, you will find a caring, supportive environment in which you can grow into a professional who is ready to embrace the challenge and satisfaction of making a difference in the world.