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Texas State has over the last decade experienced economic growth; the population though has continued to experience health disparities associated with differences in the various cultural groups in the country. As a result, healthcare costs have increased particularly to the uninsured. This study delves into assessing Texas population by considering various demographics characteristics. In addition, this study establishes if there has been a shift in demographics over years in the Texas population. Moreover, this paper provides adequate information on the changes that have taken place in Texas citizens in relation to the diseases that are the most prevalent in that population.
The population of Texas is the one in question. Population assessment entails the needs of the population that can be achieved through an agency or the community. Demographics in Texas show that it is the fastest growing becoming more diverse with a population of over 23.5 million people. The demographic shift over the past ten years has shown that it has shifted to a minority state from a majority one. Urban areas have continued expanding with its infrastructures including sewer and roads. Its population has doubled over the past ten years to about 12.7% of the entire United States population (Ross, Orenstein, & Botchwey, 2014). Texas has the largest rural population in the United States. It is projected that the population of Texas will continue increasing over the years (UNDP, 1985).
The common infections in Texas are STDs, TB and viral infections. HIV/STD transmission is of particular concern because of drug use, multiple partners and unprotected sex.
Center for Infectious Disease is an institution in Texas that partners with the University of Texas in conducting assessments that will include interviews, identifying community resources, organizing prevention programs and having wide community surveys. The institution provides a report on the personal risks and interests and the capacity of the community and the agency that are involved in the intervention. Tools commonly used are the Internet and the social media in the interventions to instill the desired practices in Texas.
Cultural competence is the ability to effectively relate with people from different social, economic and ethnic backgrounds. Cultural competence has been used among health workers to reduce health disparities in different regions. Moreover, cultural competence addresses issues on patients’ duce outcomes, quality of study, the effect on future research and the framework used. Therefore, cultural competence helps reduce health disparities, improving access to quality healthcare that is respective and responsive to patients (Sauter & Murphy, 1995).
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Cultural competence can be argued to be positive as there is a good relationship between competence training and the outcomes of patients. The negative aspect of cultural competence is that it is costly since it involves high quality research (Poole & Van, 2004). Cultural incompetence undermines the foundational pillars that help reduce disparities in offering unbiased quality health care that is also culturally sensitive. Cultural incompetence will not respect the diversity in patients including their culture, language, styles of communication, behaviors, beliefs and attitudes (Hartwell, 2005).
The priorities of cultural competence include people coming first, improving the abilities of health care providers, interventions that assist patients, addressing physical barriers to access and providing education to the target group. Communicating effectively as a healthcare professional is crucial to improving people’s health as well as that of the community (Hallin & Gustavsson, 2010).
My organization can be termed as not being culturally competent if it does not have the capacity for cultural self-assessment, does not value diversity of people visiting the facility, it is not conscious with the cultural interactions together with the dynamics, does not have the required institutional knowledge and does not provide service delivery in a way that reflects its understanding of the cultural diversity in the society of interest. These are five elements that should be used to guide an institution in making policies and practices for it to be termed as culturally competent (World Health Organization, 1999).
Cultural competence in a health care environment integrates issues that are population specific including culture and beliefs related to health, disease prevalence and treatment. Cultural competence should seek to honor and respect attitudes, interpersonal styles, behaviors and beliefs to those being offered the services by the healthcare facility (Hewitt Associates & Newfoundland and Labrador, 2011).
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When cultural competency is developed and implemented as a framework, it enables the agency and community to function in an effective manner and also understand the health information of the group accessing the healthcare (Hersen, 2004).
There are barriers in cultural competence where nurses have to familiarize themselves with new cultures of immigrants in the state of Texas. Culture influences the way people seek healthcare and their attitude towards healthcare workers. Healthcare workers are required to communicate and have the ability to understand different cultures and how they influence health (Cackley et al., 2009).
Western medicine is argued to be the best in the world but that does not guarantee quality healthcare in the western world. There are health belief systems that have an effect on the well-being of the population. Patients sometimes mistrust healthcare providers based on culture and belief for no good reason. It is also required that patients, healthcare providers and nurses learn how to interact with patients in a way that shows respect to different cultural beliefs and backgrounds. Caring for patients from different cultural backgrounds still remains a big challenge since both a nurse and a patient do not understand each other’s perspective.
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There is a need for trans-cultural nursing where healthcare workers provide care that is culturally specific. For it to happen, healthcare workers need to be familiar with ethnocentrism, races, ethnography and various cultural values. Nursing should focus on the similarities and the differences among different cultures with respect to human care.
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