As a Pharmacist, Are You Adequately Prepared to Deal With Cultural Differences?
It’s pretty much common knowledge these days that our society is becoming much more diverse. And the population statistics bear this out– Asians now make up about seven percent of the population, while Hispanics make up more than 15 percent.
This presents unique challenges to the pharmacist. To care for patients from different cultural backgrounds, pharmacists need to understand each patient’s cultural orientation. Having such an understanding is very important because of how a person’s culture can influence their thinking and outlook. Culture is defined as a pattern of behavior that includes thoughts, actions, customs, values, and beliefs of particular social groups within a society. It is all-encompassing.
Pharmacists can begin to enhance their sensitivity toward culture by thinking about their own cultural background. They can do this by considering how their own place of birth and their parents’ place of birth has influenced their own life. Pharmacists should also think about what culture they most identify with.
Then pharmacists need to focus on the cultural backgrounds of their patients and how well the pharmacist understands those backgrounds. To learn more about different cultures, the pharmacist should talk to their patients about their cultural backgrounds and read more about different cultural groups online.
The pharmacist should learn how a person’s culture influences their beliefs and behaviors, as well as how the pharmacist’s own cultural bias can affect others.
A person’s cultural background can influence his or her beliefs and attitude toward their medical condition and the medications they are taking to treat it. So it is important for the pharmacist to get some idea of what those attitudes are when talking with the patient about treatment options.
To do this, the pharmacist should ask the patient questions about his or her condition. The pharmacist can question the patient about what they think caused the illness, how their body has been affected by it, what they know about the condition, what people have told them about it, how they think it ought to be treated, and what kind of treatments they have tried.
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