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Customer Service and Diversity Awareness

Customer Service and Diversity Awareness

Diversity awareness in the nursing work environment is fundamental to addressing various diversity issues associated with factors like gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, race, and socio-cultural background. Patients often jeopardize the delivery of care services, including the provision of standardized and evidence-based care, because they hold divergent opinions as to what should be done or because their religious backgrounds disallow certain procedures. For nurses and other healthcare workers, this often creates a dilemma as to what should be followed; the autonomy and will of the patient or providing safe and quality care as recommended. In 2020, Jeffrey John, a 70-year-old Jehovah’s Witness follower, came to the clinic. He had been diagnosed with cancer and other underlying conditions, like diabetes and hypertension.

A conflict between the religious beliefs of the patient and the recommended healthcare intervention might present an obstacle to the customer service experience of the patient. The problem is that Jeffrey was unwilling to receive a critical whole blood transfusion that nurses deemed necessary to boost his hemoglobin level. The patient explained that his religion (Jehovah’s Witness) disallowed him to receive any blood transfusion (whether whole blood or its major ingredients, such as white cells, platelets, and red cells), quoting a script in the Bible (Acts 15:28-29) that says “abstain from meats offered to idols and from the blood.”

One potential solution that worked for the patient was family engagement (Handtke, Schilgen, & Mosko, 2019). Following a two-week stalemate with the family and Mr. Jeffrey standing a chance of losing his life, we came up with an ingenious diversity awareness solution – using a Jehovah’s Witness-trained nurse to engage the family in negotiations. Jane (the nurse) was not a true Jehovah’s Witness follower but was culturally competent and aware of the values and traditions of these followers, having worked with them in the UK and Africa. Jane managed to engage and convince John’s family of the essence of saving their loved one’s life – which is the foundation of their religion. She possessed the skills to interact and communicate with the family and also managed to express positive attitudes towards their cultures, specifically showing the family how she appreciated their culture. Jane fitted into the patient’s and his family’s shoes by showing concern and compassion. The patient received the transfusion and was released one week later.

Besides family engagement, the involvement of community health workers to enlighten patients via clinic visits and telemedicine can also help address issues with cultural conflicts or dilemmas in the healthcare field. According to the Health Policy Institute (n.d.), culturally-competent care is care that meets patients’ linguistic, cultural, and social needs. It requires adopting the five critical principles of the Cultural Competency Model, including valuing diversity, carrying out cultural self-assessments, institutionalizing cultural awareness and skills, and adapting to diversity (Handtke, Schilgen, & Mosko, 2019).


Hnadtke, O., Schilgen, B., & Mosko, M. (2019). Culturally competent healthcare – A scoping review of strategies implemented in healthcare organizations and a model of culturally competent healthcare providers. Pl

Health Policy Institute. (n.d.). Cultural competence in healthcare: Is it important for people with chronic conditions? Retrieved from


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Customer Service and Diversity Awareness

Identify and discuss a specific customer service diversity situation/scenario (excluding language barriers) that you may encounter while working in your desired healthcare profession. This situation should be an interaction with a patient. For example, a patient is refusing treatment due to their religious beliefs and may be jeopardizing their health because of it.

Customer Service and Diversity Awareness

Customer Service and Diversity Awareness

In 1-2 pages, discuss the following:

  1. Identified a specific customer service diversity situation/scenario within your desired healthcare profession and the variables associated with it.
  2. Complications/obstacles that could arise to affect the customer service experience of patients.
  3. Resources, techniques, and/or processes to overcome these complications/obstacles to provide superior customer service.

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