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The unconscious emotional response by medical professionals or other professionals towards patients or situations based on cultural differences is one of what I consider bias in service delivery in the areas of assessment, diagnosis, research, and assumption when working with clients who are from diverse cultural backgrounds. Such a practice might prevent accurate diagnosis, study, evaluation, or assumption from being made. (Norman, 2012). For instance, experts or doctors may dismiss a patient's or a member of the public's symptoms without properly evaluating them. Additionally, people from low socioeconomic standing, people from culturally diverse backgrounds, or people who identify as a particular sexual orientation may lead professionals to make assumptions or make biased diagnoses. To effectively address such forms of biases, physicians or professionals need to gain new insights and set aside prejudices and personal biases by understanding specific issues that affect various groups in the society. For example, the physicians or professionals may learn more about various risk factors and health issues among culturally diverse populations (Norman, 2012).
Another example of what I consider bias in service delivery in the areas of assessment, diagnosis, research, and assumption when working with culturally diverse clients is the distortion of thinking. Distortions of thinking relate to focusing on one diagnosis or symptom without considering other possibilities, uncritical acceptance of previous assessments, premature assumptions, or calling off some research works before conclusively assessing the issue at hand (Walsh & Gordon, 2010). All such biases can interfere with the achievement of correct assessment, diagnosis, research, or assumptions by physicians or professionals. To adequately address such biases, professionals or physicians have to come to an agreement so as prepare expert reports or provide opinion evidence that is objective, fair, non-partisan, and related to specific issues with their areas of expertise. It is also essential for the physicians or professionals to try and understand the context of service delivery to culturally diverse population, as well as the rationale for decision-making during the service in question (Walsh & Gordon, 2010).
The two factors of acculturative stress that I believe contribute to the stress among the culturally diverse clients who migrate to the United States are Homesickness and Rejection (Wang, Schwartz, & Zamboanga, 2010). One of the ways in which I would assist my culturally diverse client suffering from acculturative stress as a result of homesickness would be to encourage and advise the client on various coping strategies. I would also encourage the client to make more friendships with the locals so as to get more social supports. Additionally, I would help my culturally diverse client in establishing healthy lifestyle choices, which would include engagement in exercises and sporting activities, as well as getting adequate nutrition and sleep. I would also advise my culturally diverse clients to normalize homesickness feelings and encourage them to openly discuss their concerns regarding various healthy adjustment strategies (Wang, Schwartz, & Zamboanga, 2010).
On the other hand, I would assist my culturally diverse clients suffering from acculturative stress as a result of rejection by helping them establish decision-making control so as to enhance their adjustment to the new environment. I would also provide them with orienting information about their new environment, as well as its culture so as to familiarize them with the available resources and help them identify where they can find support. Besides, I would shape their attitudes about the United States through in-person discussions of the various positive aspects of their new environment. That would give them greater optimism and reduce their feelings of rejection (Wang, Schwartz, & Zamboanga, 2010).
The two service delivery methods I would employ to help meet the needs of my client in my cross-cultural work with clients include the Engagement with the Clients and Co-workers, and the use of Cultural Sensitivity in service delivery (Lowther & McMillan, 2015). One of the reasons why I would choose the method of engagement with both the clients and co-workers is that it would help me find out the client's preferred language and to enable me to engage an interpreter when necessary. Additionally, the method of engaging with the clients and co-workers would help me in developing a cultural understanding through acknowledging various cultural factors that influence service delivery (Lowther & McMillan, 2015). On the other hand, the method of using cultural sensitivity in service delivery would allow me to identify the differences within the cross-cultural groups so as to deliver services that are considerate to every individual. The cultural sensitivity method would also enable me to ensure that all the service delivery programs are inclusive and none-discriminative against any cultural practice. Besides, the cultural sensitivity method would ensure that my service delivery programs remain sensitive to the client's gender preferences (Lowther & McMillan, 2015).
As a human service professional, I would identify some of the responsibilities of professionals in bringing about change in the community through the development of an assessment plan. The assessment plan would help me identify the community needs as well as the resources that can assist in understanding how best to improve the community in the most efficient and logical manner (Walsh & Gordon, 2010). Additionally, the assessment plan would help me gain a deeper understanding of the community needs since every community has its own needs, culture, resources, as well as the social structure that define it. The community assessment plan would, therefore, help in uncovering both the community needs and resources, as well as the underlying social and cultural structures that would be helpful in understanding how best to address the community needs and make use of its available resources (Walsh & Gordon, 2010). Besides, the community assessment plan would enable me to involve the members of the community from the start of the transformation process, as well as give the community members an opportunity to voice their views, fears, and hopes regarding the community (Walsh & Gordon, 2010).
One of the reasons why it is important for the human service professional to have knowledge of community resources is to enable the human service professional to advise the community on how best to utilize such resources by identifying specific community needs that can be addressed through the efficient use of the community resources (Norman, 2012). Additionally, having the knowledge of community resources will help the human service professionals to make correct decisions regarding priorities for the system or program improvement, as well as take advantage of the resources to enhance the community's capacity for solving its own problems so as to bring about change (Norman, 2012).
As a professional, the ways in which I might develop strategies that will lead to the empowerment of individuals within the community setting would involve assessing the community's needs and resources through the use of all the available information sources. The assessment would help me to consider all the collected information and identify the gap for people's empowerment in the community (Walsh & Gordon, 2010). Additionally, the community assessment would help me identify the various goals of community members, as well as understand the best approaches for empowering individuals in the community in the most efficient manner (Walsh & Gordon, 2010).
One of the advantages of the professional educating the client about community resources is that the professional can help the client in identifying the community problems that can effectively be solved by the efficient use of the community resources (Lowther & McMillan, 2015). Additionally, education by professionals can help clients recognize the value of the community resources, as well as examine the community situation so as to uncover what can be improved through effective use of the community resources (Lowther & McMillan, 2015). Another advantage of the professional educating the client regarding community resources is that the professional can help the client to understand and identify various community resources that had, earlier, not been discovered, thereby opening new avenues of improving community life (Lowther & McMillan, 2015).
Lowther, M., & McMillan, W. (2015). Authentic professional development: Key to quality service delivery. South African Actuarial Journal, 14(1), 1. http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/saaj.v14i1.1
Norman, K. (2012). Leading service improvement in changing times. British Journal Of Community Nursing, 17(4), 162-167. http://dx.doi.org/10.12968/bjcn.2012.17.4.162
Walsh, K., & Gordon, J. (2010). Understanding professional service delivery. International Journal Of Quality And Service Sciences, 2(2), 217-238. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/17566691011057375
Wang, S., Schwartz, S., & Zamboanga, B. (2010). Acculturative Stress Among Cuban-American College Students: Exploring the Mediating Pathways Between Acculturation and Psychosocial Functioning. Journal Of Applied Social Psychology, 40(11), 2862-2887. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.2010.00684.x
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