CLAS Standard 3
Standard 3's intent is to ensure the provision of cultural competence education and training to all staff interacting with the individual served.
Cultural Competency Education and Training: All staff and disciplines should be oriented to and have ongoing education and training in the concept of cultural competency as cultural competence can only be achieved by being aware of the cultural differences, respecting them and ultimately reconciling them.
When an organization develops their own education and training programs, the information needs to focus on the specific populations served and the functions of the disciplines interacting with the individuals served. Community representative should be included in the development of these materials.
The following is an example of addressing the need for staff cultural competency education:
In an east coast hospital, an Iranian mother and father admitted their thirteen month old child to a pediatrics unit. After three days of rigorous testing, a tumor was discovered, a type of childhood cancer. Fortunately, the survival rate was 70 to 80 percent with proper treatment. Before meeting with the pediatric oncologist to discuss the child's condition, the parents were frightened yet cooperative. After meeting the oncologist, they became uncooperative. They refused permission for even the most routine procedures. The father would not even talk with the physician or the nurses instead, he called in another specialist to the case. After several frustrating days, the oncologist decided to turn over the case to a colleague. He met with the parents and found them extremely cooperative.
What caused the sudden reversal in behavior? The issue was the original oncologist was a woman. Even though the parents described themselves as "Americanized", the Iranian tradition of male authority was still strong. They could not accept a woman making life/death decisions for their son for them the child's treatment was too important to be decided by a woman.
The stress of their son's illness had caused the parents to revert to their traditional ways even though both parents were educated in the United States.