From the Top. Let's Embrace Diversity.
Let's Embrace Diversity
African-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos and Native Americans represent more than 25 percent of the U.S. population. However, these three ethnic groups represent less than 9 percent of nurses, 6 percent of physicians and 5 percent of dentists, according to the Sullivan Commission on Diversity in the Health Care Workforce. Of the 16,000-plus students who entered medical school in 2003, only about 2,000 were African-American, Hispanic/Latino or Native American.
Asians present a different picture. While Asian-Americans
make up less than five percent of the population,
they account for more than 16 percent of physicians
and surgeons and more than 12 percent of clinical
laboratory technologists and technicians. And yet,
Asians are still underrepresented in other allied
health care professions.
The need for bilingual staff pervades the health care system. Whether these individuals carry the title of physician's assistant, nurse's aide, mental health technician, nurse practitioner, dietician, R.N. or M.D., their contributions are invaluable. They have the power to help health care organizations better serve diverse patient populations, reduce staff turnover and minimize medical errors possibly caused by linguistic and cultural barriers.
How can your organization create a more diverse,
bilingual workforce? Here are a few suggestions:
With these strategies we can create the kind of workforce that will help meet the needs of increasing diverse patients.
Please contact me with your questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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