Nurses form the pivot of the healthcare structure given the enormity of their responsibilities and clinical significance. Therefore, nurses have a natural and significant role in promoting diversity and inclusivity in a healthcare facility.
Diversity is an integral and tremendous aspect of human life, and it has immense significance in the healthcare industry. Millions of patients from culturally diverse backgrounds are denied equality in healthcare accessibility. Surprisingly, healthcare professionals from marginalized cultural backgrounds also struggle to enjoy equality and opportunities.
Nurses can play a critical role in promoting inclusivity and enhancing healthcare accessibility and equal opportunities. However, they must embrace diversity and adopt an inclusive mindset to achieve this goal. Healthcare facilities and hospitals are a melting pot of cultural and ethnic diversity. Patients are more likely to feel comfortable when their culture and ethnicity are well-represented in a healthcare facility.
So, why should nurses take up the responsibility to promote diversity and inclusion? Keep reading to find out.
1. Promoting Equality in Healthcare
Diversity in the healthcare industry demands equal representation and opportunities for all genders, races, ethnicities, and ages. Healthcare staff members must represent a broad set of cultural backgrounds, ages, and experiences. Unfortunately, opportunities for practitioners from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds remain slim, even in this day and age.
Nurses can embrace and promote diversity by embracing beliefs, physical abilities, educational backgrounds, and religious beliefs different than theirs. It all boils down to create an inclusive, harmonious and supportive workplace environment. Naturally, nursing leaders have a pivotal role in understanding the dynamics of the human psychology of reciprocation.
Regardless of your nursing specialty, you can play an integral role in embracing diversity. Let’s say the psychiatry field interests you. In that case, consider pursuing a post master’s certificate psychiatric nurse practitioner online and use your knowledge to promote inclusivity. You can combine your nursing experience and psychiatric expertise to create a balanced and inclusive workplace for peers and aspirants. The e-learning environment has made the pursuit of higher education and marketable certifications immensely straightforward and flexible.
Nurses are carving out lucrative leadership roles by pursuing higher education and enhancing their clinical significance. Nursing professionals can help healthcare facilities espouse diversity in the fabric of their hiring model and workplace culture.
2. Enhancing Patient Care and Accessibility
Patients visit hospitals seeking emergency care, diagnosis, and treatments from all walks of life and backgrounds. It’s crucial to understand that patients from culturally and ethnically marginalized backgrounds have strikingly different experiences from majority communities. They are constantly struggling to enjoy equality, and the healthcare system is often blind to their needs.
Visiting a hospital and not seeing a single healthcare professional from their ethnicity can prove disappointing and demotivating. In contrast, seeing themselves represented in the healthcare workforce is uplifting, empowering, and motivating. Diverse workplace environments enhance accessibility and equality for patients as they find support.
Practitioners from similar ethnic and cultural backgrounds can better address their needs and concerns. Ultimately, promoting diversity and inclusivity helps improve patient care, making healthcare systems more accessible for marginalized communities. It makes it easier for patients to communicate their symptoms and avail the best course of treatments.
3. Addressing Unique Requirements
Nurses commonly struggle with language barriers and culture shocks while treating patients from different cultural backgrounds. For instance, most Latin American patients from immigrant families face language barriers while obtaining care and signing paperwork. Likewise, many female indigenous patients insist on being treated by a female doctor. These cultural and linguistic barriers can come as a shock and even seem offensive to nurses with a non-inclusive mindset.
We’ve all seen horrible videos of patients and doctors of color getting harassed and humiliated by intolerant people. These videos circulating on social media paint a bleak and sinister picture of a world that refuses to embrace diversity. Nurses can emerge as trailblazers in overcoming this toxic culture by promoting diversity and inclusion.
It all begins by adopting a respectful attitude towards other cultures, exercising tolerance, and educating oneself. Nurses can help healthcare facilities achieve cultural competency. This competency is instrumental in overcoming language and cultural barriers to address the unique requirements of each patient.
4. Boosting Workforce Morale
A diverse and vibrant workforce representing different cultures and ethnicities contributes to a safe workplace environment. Healthcare staff representing diverse communities sow the seeds of high morale and soaring motivation levels. Inclusivity and equal opportunities create a productive, safe and inclusive work environment that celebrates dedication and hard work.
Nurses leading diverse teams have a responsibility to promote cultural inclusivity and ensure equal opportunities for all. The burden is enormous, but it will work wonders at transforming the workplace culture. In contrast, healthcare facilities that shun cultural inclusivity give birth to a toxic environment that breeds inequality. Nurses can play a pivotal role in boosting workforce morale by ensuring all healthcare workers enjoy equal representation.
Ultimately, a diverse community of healthcare workers is better equipped to provide quality care to diverse populations. It’s essential for nursing leaders and administrators to ensure their staff is as diverse as their patient audience. Higher morale, cultural diversity and inclusive workplace environments lead to higher employee retention.
Naturally, healthcare workers and administrative staff are more likely to retain their jobs if they enjoy equal representation and inclusivity. Ultimately, these measures help hospitals build an influential employer’s brand to attract top talent from the industry.
5. Harnessing Skills and Talents
Nursing leaders and administrators harness and hone the talents of all their subordinates. They create opportunities for junior nurses and entry-level practitioners to shine and display their skills. Essentially, nursing leaders and team members develop opportunities by facilitating their peers from culturally marginalized backgrounds.
A lack of diversity and tolerance causes minority professionals to face barriers in expressing their talents and skills. They fail to capture opportunities and gain attention from their peers and seniors. Nurses who prioritize support and promote diversity by providing mentorship allow young professionals to shine. They help strengthen the individual motivation levels of minority healthcare staff members to enhance overall quality standards.
When a patient from a marginalized community walks into a hospital, seeing someone from their community is a relief. They can identify, relate, and communicate with them without facing any challenges. Nurses have an influential role in maintaining culturally diverse teams to ensure every patient receives excellent care.
In recent years, nurses have been gaining more prominence in healthcare facilities, given the shortages of skilled physicians and doctors. Therefore, nurses can help healthcare facilities boost their problem-solving capabilities and quality controls by promoting diversity. They can work towards eliminating cultural biases to ensure every healthcare professional and patient enjoy equal representation.