In an effort to address the many disparities in healthcare, cultural competence has taken center stage. As Orange County’s largest LGBTQ+ medical clinic, we have always worked to address barriers to quality care. But with healthcare inequalities still persisting for many groups, more must be done to deliver a higher quality of care. Inclusive care is the foundation that ensures access to personalized care and better health outcomes.
What Is Cultural Competence in Healthcare?
Cultural competence in healthcare is the ability to show consideration to people from diverse walks of life. To be culturally competent, medical providers learn how to communicate with and show sensitivity to individuals with different social and cultural backgrounds. The goal of this approach is to ensure that patients receive non-judgmental care that is tailored to their unique requirements.
Why Culturally Competent Healthcare Matters
Fundamentally, cultural competence in healthcare is about ensuring healthcare equality for everyone. However, as each person or group has different needs and health challenges, cultural competence does go beyond providing attentive healthcare. By understanding the LGBTQ+ community and other groups, providers can deliver a higher quality of care without false assumptions, discrimination or bias.
Inclusive care is a pressing need that requires a strategic approach, as many in the community are still struggling to find an LGBTQ-friendly healthcare provider in Orange County. Cultural competency training empowers medical providers with the understanding and skills to deliver stigma-free care that offers solid benefits for patients.
Cultural competence in healthcare aims to reduce health disparities for a cross-section of groups, incorporating race, gender, religion, cultural beliefs and more. For the LGBTQ+ community these challenges make themselves known in many ways, as shown by statistics from The Trevor Project in the list below.
- 60% of LGBTQ+ youth needing mental health care could not access it.
- 93% of transgender youth were worried about being denied gender-affirming medical care.
- 45% of LGBTQ+ youth considered suicide in the past year.
Strategies for Providing LGBTQ+ Cultural Competence in Healthcare
Delivering culturally competent healthcare services requires an adaptive approach allowing response to each patient’s needs. Some common principles of inclusive care are as follows.
- Acceptance of diversity in beliefs, lifestyle and values.
- Not asking intrusive questions that are unnecessary for providing care.
- Educating staff on best practices and non-judgmental communication.
- Learning common LGBTQ+-specific physical and mental health challenges.
- Using inclusive and gender-neutral language in communications.
- Discussing and providing education on preventive care to live a healthy life.
- An understanding of issues in the LGBTQ+ community (discrimination, harassment, HIV, substance abuse, etc.).
- Providing access to LGBTQ+ counseling and mental health support.
Contact Us for LGBTQ+ Health and HIV Care
Radiant Health Centers is Orange County’s trusted provider of HIV care, STD testing, hormone replacement therapy and counseling services. For stigma-free healthcare and LGBTQ+ medical treatment, contact us today. Call (949) 809-5700 or request an appointment now.
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