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This essay defines Intersectionality and provides a scenario in which Intersectionality is evident. The essay also takes a personal reflection to evaluate how cultural location, attitudes, values and beliefs influence caregiver’s practices in administering treatment to patients. Besides, it focuses on cultural safe healthcare practices that should be undertaken to eliminate biased treatment of patients. Lastly, the essay will outline the personal reflection of how healthcare provider will advocate for zero tolerance on the biased treatment of patients through advocacy initiatives.

Intersectionality stems for a theory developed by an American civil rights advocate, Kimberlie Williams Crenshaw. Intersectionality refers to a study that is centered on overlapping social identities such as oppression, prejudice and domination (Bauer 2014). The purpose of Intersectionality is to examine how various aspects of social, biological and cultural interact in both multiple and simultaneous degrees. Intersectionality is mainly applicable to women although all gender can be affected by this situation in the community. In essence, Intersectionality is used to explain the nature of power which implies that issues relating to minority groups are likely to be ignored by people in authority (Samuels and Ross-Sheriff 2008).

The most recent case that I have experienced regarding Intersectionality relates to LGBTQ community. The population of gay people in the community is gradually increasing. I understand that in my community, the gay people often seclude themselves from the rest of the community as a result of prejudice that is levelled against them. Most of these individuals fear to come out and fight for their rights and stigmatization that comes with being identified as gay. Recently, I happened to have injured my arm and I needed to visit my local hospital often for checkup and treatment. During my visits, I used to have conversation with individual that I met at the waiting room area. From Monday to Wednesday, not a single gay person would show up in the hospital. However, they used to come from Thursdays to Sundays. I decided to inquire as to why this was the case, one of the gay people I had met frequently informed me that there are two physicians at the hospital and the one who comes in from Monday to Wednesday discriminates against the LGBTQ community and sometimes refuses to see them or prescribe medication to them. Therefore, they chose to visit when a different physician is on duty (Manuel 2007).

I agree that, cultural location, attitudes, values and beliefs play a significant role in determining the care of patients. In my assessment, these aspects enable the nurses and physicians to identify ways in which a patient’s cultural location influences their perception, beliefs and values in relation to health, wellness, suffering and death (Aarons and Sawitzky 2006). More so, I tend to agree that these aspects forms the basis for accepting, respecting and acknowledging human diversity. They also assist nurses and physicians in facilitating holistic assessment with respect to a patient’s cultural background. Nonetheless, I think that cultural values and belief systems help to establish a good relationship between a patient and a caregiver that eventually strengthen the commitment of nurses and physicians. Besides, these values and beliefs can be integrated to facilitate the treatment of patients (Street Jr et al2009). I also agree that these aspects enable the nurses and physicians to be open minded which often leads to alternative care intervention such as meditation.

I think these aspects of cultural setting, beliefs and values may affect patients care as a result of some cultural practice placing high value on health while others tend to believe that cultural rituals and practices play a significant role in health promotion and prevention of illness. Besides, I agree that distance and space orientation in terms of open and closed spaces may also vary among cultures (Sobralske 2006). This can be attested by the fact that studies indicate that people that are brought up in congested cities may prefer closeness as opposed to cultures where people are distant to each other. I think that family dynamics play a significant role when it comes to patients care with respect to roles, power, decision making, interactions as well as communication patterns. Other aspects that may influence patients care based on cultural practices, values and beliefs is self-efficacy and time orientation (Browne et al 2009).

Cultural safety refers to policy initiatives that are aimed at respecting cultural boundaries while providing health services. There are a number of culturally safe health care practices that can be effective in eliminating biased treatment of patients (Wakefield et al2010). I think the first approach is through personal awareness. Personal awareness in my views involves the process of looking towards ones beliefs and values that are likely to lead to biased treatment. Through recognizing the bias, I think a nurse or physician can be able to develop self-regulatory framework that is significant in reducing bias in the treatment of patients. I tend to agree that acquiring personal awareness may require internal compass that is significant in communication. I recommend this practice because it is significant in helping nurses acknowledge and learn acceptable attitudes and behaviors that helps in mitigating bias in treatment.

Another practice that I find useful in eliminating cultural bias in the treatment of patients is acknowledgement. I think the nurses need to first acknowledge that there is a problem of cultural bias when it comes to treating patients. I agree that acknowledgment will lead to accountability and responsibility to influence the perception of medical providers. Moreover, I think that medical care givers should have empathy (Gaba 2004). This is particularly significant in understanding the circumstances that the patient is undergoing. I think nurses can approach this aspect by perceiving the treatment from the patients view to get a glimpse of the situation of a patient in order to determine their needs so as to provide without an element of biasness. Another practice to avoid biasness relates to advocacy programs, I believe that nurses should provide support for their patients with compassion and professionalism. Lastly, I think cultural safety programs should be taught to nurses so that it helps them to increase awareness and recognize bias to easily prevent it while administering treatment.

As a health service provider I would recommend extensive research on the population such as LGBTQ community. My primary responsibility will be to determine various aspects within my practice that directly influence the perception of treatment by this group. For this purpose, I will send out a questionnaire to LGBTQ community as well as other people to determine the areas and the circumstances that they find treatment to be biased. Based on the information collected, I will prioritize the main areas where I tend to experience biasness while treating patients. After, I will brainstorm the findings with my colleagues in order to best understand how these problems come about during treatment of patients (Nguyen 2008). The findings from my colleagues will play a crucial role in developing counter measure mechanism to the problems. I will write down a checklist that can be used by fellow health care providers to assess potential areas of biasness in order to have a better understanding on how to approach treatment without an element of bias. Lastly, I will recommend that patients review their caregivers in terms of biasness so as to follow up on the feedback from respondent in order to optimize treatments that completely remove bias.

Reference List

1. Aarons, G.A. and Sawitzky, A.C., (2006). Organizational culture and climate and mental health provider attitudes toward evidence-based practice. Psychological services, 3(1), p.61.
2. Bauer, G.R., (2014). Incorporating intersectionality theory into population health research methodology: Challenges and the potential to advance health equity. Social science & medicine, 110, pp.10-17.
3. Browne, A.J., Varcoe, C., Smye, V., Reimer?Kirkham, S., Lynam, M.J. and Wong, S., (2009). Cultural safety and the challenges of translating criticallyoriented knowledge in practice. Nursing Philosophy, 10(3), pp.167-179.
4. Gaba, D.M., (2004). The future vision of simulation in health care. BMJ Quality & Safety, 13(suppl 1), pp.i2-i10.
5. Manuel, T., (2007). Envisioning the possibilities for a good life: Exploring the public policy implications of intersectionality theory. Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, 28(3-4), pp.173-203.
6. Nguyen, H.T., (2008). Patient centred care: cultural safety in Indigenous health. Australian family physician, 37(12), p.990.
7. Samuels, G.M. and Ross-Sheriff, F., (2008). Identity, oppression, and power: Feminisms and intersectionality theory.
8. Sobralske, M., (2006). Machismo sustains health and illness beliefs of Mexican American men. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 18(8), pp.348-350.
9. Street Jr, R.L., Makoul, G., Arora, N.K. and Epstein, R.M., (2009). How does communication heal? Pathways linking clinician-patient communication to health outcomes. Patient health education and counseling, 74(3), pp.295-301.
10. Wakefield, J.G., McLaws, M.L., Whitby, M. and Patton, L., (2010). Patient safety culture: factors that influence clinician involvement in patient safety behaviours. Qual Saf Health Care, 19(6), pp.585-591