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List the racial categories based on the OMB classification in the United States. Explain the geographic origins of the people designated for each of the categories. Why is it important for health professionals to understand cultural differences among and between groups?

The racial categories based on the OMB classification in the United States are as follows:

· Native Americans or Alaskan Native: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America and who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliations or community recognition.

· Asian/Pacific Islander: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands.

· African American/Black: A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.

· White: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East. (cultural  competency for the health professional)

In the healthcare setting it is very important for health professionals to understand cultural differences among and between groups. In health care settings, cultural alertness, compassion, and competence conducts are essential because even such concepts as health, illness, suffering, and care mean different things to different people. Being knowledgeable of cultural customs enables health care providers to provide better service and help avoid misconstructions among staff, residents/patients, and families. Health care providers trained in cultural competency:

– Demonstrate greater understanding of the central role of culture in healthcare

-Recognize common barriers to cultural understanding among providers, staff, and residents/patients

-Identify characteristics of cultural competence in health care settings

-Interpret and respond effectively to diverse older adults’ verbal and nonverbal communication cues

– Assess and respond to differences in values, beliefs, and health behaviors among diverse populations and older adults

-Demonstrate commitment to culturally and linguistically appropriate services

-Work more effectively with diverse health care staff.

-Act as leaders, mentors, and role models for other health care providers (Dawn Lehman, Paula Fenza, &  and Linda Hollinger-Smith)

5. A physical therapy office in “Little Haiti” in Miami, Florida is  closed due to lack of funds. All patients’ appointments are routed to a  nearby hospital’s physical therapy department in which the predominant  population served is Cuban. List and describe a minimum some steps you  believe the department has to take to meet the needs of the patients  from a culturally competent prospective.

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