Discussion 1

In today’s society, certain types of cultural barriers in healthcare have the power to negatively impact outcomes and can lead to expensive consequences for health systems. Cultural competency refers to the ability to interact with people across cultures. When used in healthcare, it focuses on being able to care for patients with diverse values, beliefs, and behaviors. Today, the delivery of healthcare needs to be tailored to patients’ social, cultural and linguistic needs. According to the health care service company Cigna, cultural competency in healthcare can overcome health disparities. Some of these disparities include language barriers, cultural beliefs and practices, medical bias, variations in care access and quality, and low health literacy (Husson University, 2019).

The Purnell Model of Clinical Competence is a mid-range theory that is used for the research examining culture and within the context of culture and values. This theory was created by Larry Purnell and it was developed based on his observations of undergraduate nursing students and how they would interact with patients that are from different cultural backgrounds. In the United States, culturally competency is a key area for nurses and advanced practitioners (Marzilli, 2017).

Having the ability to communicate effectively with patients and their families is key for good patient care. The importance of communicating effectively in cross-cultural encounters is necessary. Cultural competence includes providing effective health care across diverse cultures by working collaboratively and communicating effectively. Advanced practice nurses and physicians who are aware of their own and their patients’ cultural backgrounds, along with the values that are often implicit in current medical models, are better able to achieve mutual understanding within the patient encounter and to focus on culturally appropriate health care interventions (Ladha et al., 2018)

With the Purnell Model, all aspects and domains of this model work by affecting one another, rather than standing alone. With this model there are specific cultural domains that include, heritage, communication, family roles and organization, workforce issues, bicultural ecology, high risk behaviors, nutrition, childbearing, death rituals, spirituality, health care practices and the healthcare practitioner (National Association for School Nurses, 2019).

As nurse practitioners, understanding the impact that cultural competence and interaction with your patients are key in quality patient care and trust. Cultural competency is relevant to healthcare education due to the fact that minorities will constitute 54% of the total United States population by 2050. The Purnell Model helps by evaluating the impact of interventions such as service learning and the change on cultural competence following the specific intervention. Research involving the Purnell Model is used as the theoretical framework for determining the healthcare providers role and responsibilities in caring for particularly vulnerable populations of patients (Marzilli, 2017).

Cultural competence in healthcare is continuing to become more essential to the list of necessary skills that a healthcare provider must utilize and become familiar with when caring for patients (Marzilli, 2017). By taking some of the previously done research and building onto this, advanced healthcare providers can continue to to work on and become more culturally competent individuals. By doing so, this will help them care for their patients and give them a better patient outcome.


Husson University. (2019, September 3). The Need for Cultural Competence in Healthcare. MedCity News.

Ladha, T., Zubairi, M., Hunter, A., Audcent, T., & Johnstone, J. (2018, February). Cross-cultural communication: Tools for working with families and children. Paediatrics & child health.

Marzilli, C. (2017). A Review of the Theoretical Framework of Culture and Value Applied to Nursing. International Journal of Nursing.

National Association for School Nurses. (2019). Purnell Model. Purnell Model – National Association of School Nurses.