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Discussion Response-Cultural Competency vs. Cultural Sensitivity

Discussion Response-Cultural Competency vs. Cultural Sensitivity


  • -Length: A minimum of 150 words per post, not including references
  • Citations: At least one high-level scholarly reference in APA per post from within the last 5 years

Cultural Competency vs. Cultural Sensitivity

Cultural Competency and Cultural Sensitivity are terms that have been used interchangeably but do not hold the same definitions. According to Henderson et al (2018), the term Cultural Competency is constantly evolving and has many definitions, but mostly addresses the skills that healthcare practitioners develop to provide trans-cultural care. This includes cultural knowledge, awareness, and Cultural Humility.
Cultural Sensitivity is also an element of Cultural Competency. Cultural Sensitivity is the application of understanding that culture is multi-faceted and that the individual’s culture cannot be explained by generalized stereotypes. Sensitivity is how the practitioner applies this concept to perform their care in a non-prejudiced way (Hoffman, 2015). An example of Cultural Sensitivity is not having any assumptions when assessing a client. This requires more time to ask questions and listen to the individual’s answers; being able to respect the others’ culture while maintaining their own values. It does not imply that the practitioner has any knowledge or awareness of the client’s culture, but understands that culture is a necessary element in treating the individual Holistically. It also means that though the practitioner may have experience with the client’s stated culture, it is known that no two clients are identical and that each need to be treated individually.
Through Cultural Sensitivity, Cultural awareness and understanding grow, arming the practitioner with the knowledge to better treat their clients. Cultural Competency would be having the knowledge and awareness of the client’s culture already. This knowledge provides a better relationship with the client, therefore developing more trust. Cultural Competency is understanding, respecting, and honoring the other’s culture during care.

Henderson, S., Horne, M, Hills, R, Kendall, E. Cultural competence in healthcare in the community: A concept analysis. Health and Social Care in the Community. July 2018; 26(4): 590-603.
Hoffman, B. (2015). A rose by any other name: The influence of culture on motivated behavior. Motivation for Learning and Performance. Academic Press.


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Discussion Response-Cultural Competency vs. Cultural Sensitivity


Great work with your post! I like the distinction that you created between cultural awareness and competence. It is impossible for a health provider to be conversant with all the cultural aspects of each client. The ability to listen to patients to gain an understanding of their cultural beliefs is critical to offering efficient healthcare. It is through such sessions that healthcare providers can gauge the patient’s attachment to the beliefs. This is critical in creating effective treatment plans that will lead to favorable patient outcomes (Improving Cultural Competence: Evaluation and Treatment Planning, 2017). The engagement process allows physicians and other healthcare providers to exchange important information with patients. The back and forth reveals various aspects regarding a client’s health perspectives and provides the physicians with a mental guide about their patients’ priorities (Shahin, Kennedy, & Stupans, 2019). Eventually, the patients gain more trust in their physicians when they feel understood.

Discussion Response-Cultural Competency vs. Cultural Sensitivity

Discussion Response-Cultural Competency vs. Cultural Sensitivity


Improving Cultural Competence: Evaluation and Treatment Planning. (2017). Retrieved from

Shahin, W., Kennedy, G., & Stupans, I. (2019). The impact of personal and cultural beliefs on medication adherence of patients with chronic illnesses: a systematic review. Patient Prefer Adherence, 13, 1019-1035.

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