Developing cultural competency is an essential part of living and working in Sterling, Virginia. It is important to understand the culture of the people around you in order to build meaningful relationships and create a sense of belonging. There are many ways to develop cultural competency, from research projects and practical experiences to volunteering and social interactions. Organizing a research project, a practical experience or an internship where you work with people from a culture you don't know is a great way to improve your cultural competence.
Depending on the type of cultural experiences you're looking for, you may want to volunteer at community centers, religious institutions, or soup kitchens. Bringing one or two friends with you can help make the experience more enjoyable and provide an opportunity for reflection on how it has changed your views. It is also important to complement work and volunteer experience with non-clinical social interactions. Instead of only interacting with members of diverse groups looking for help, get a fuller picture by interacting with them as partners at parties, religious services, and cultural events.
Put yourself in social situations where you're the only one in your cultural group and challenge yourself to learn more about the culture around you. Dr. Adkins spoke with the Northern Virginia Health Foundation about his vision for HealthWorks and the steps the organization is taking to make patients feel more like family. He said that they want people to feel seen and that their patients are often invisible due to their undocumented status or lack of benefits.
He believes that everyone deserves the same level of care regardless of their background or circumstances. In order to provide this level of care, Dr. Adkins had to make some difficult decisions during the COVID pandemic. He closed one of their locations due to other organizations in the building and moved their intensive care clinic downstairs so that sick patients could be separated from those who were not yet ill.
He also hired additional staff so that they could provide better care for their patients. In addition to hiring more staff, Dr. Adkins is also looking for mission-motivated personnel who are bilingual and culturally competent. This can be difficult to find but it is worth taking the extra step in order to ensure that all patients receive the same level of care regardless of their background or language barriers. School divisions can design their own training as long as it is aligned with the Guide on Cultural Competency Training for Teachers and Other Licensed School Board Employees in Virginia Public Schools (PDF). This guide provides information on how to create a culturally competent learning environment for students and teachers alike.
It also provides resources on how to create a sense of belonging for students from diverse backgrounds. The pandemic has also marked a shift in healthcare towards greater cultural competency. It is essential that healthcare providers understand the culture of their patients in order to provide better care and ensure that everyone receives the same level of treatment regardless of their background. Developing cultural competency is an important part of living and working in Sterling, Virginia. There are many ways to become more culturally competent, from research projects and practical experiences to volunteering and social interactions. It is essential to understand the culture of those around you in order to build meaningful relationships and create a sense of belonging.