This course explores the importance of transcultural competencies as standards of care in health service organizations. The long-term goal of cultural competency in healthcare delivery is to decrease disparities in health outcomes. The national standards for transcultural competency, are as promulgated by the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care (CLAS) and The Joint Commission. The CLAS standards (U.S. Department and Health Services, 2000, 2007, 2013), recommend healthcare organizations ensure cultural competence of the professional staff. Specific accreditation standards developed by JCAHO support the tenets of the CLAS standards (The Joint Commission, 2014). The course premise is that patients and families will more likely seek care and support care regimens where the healthcare is delivered in a facility that is sensitive and responsive to their particular values, beliefs, practices, and where language services are available that support effective communication. Units in the course offer basic information on the general characteristics and traditions of several cultural and religious groups while cautioning the student not to stereotype, over-generalize, nor to characterize all members of a cultural or ethnic group as alike. Transcultural principles and application to healthcare organizational environments are explored. The role of healthcare administrators in facilitating culturally competent environments is integrated to assist students in gaining knowledge of formulating policies and procedures to reach such organizational goals. The course emphasizes cultural competence as an ongoing journey - not an end point. (3 credits)
- ENG 101: English Composition 1
- ENG 102: English Composition 2
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Examine the concept of culture and how cultural beliefs influence an individual’s approach to health, illness, and treatment.
- Explain the impact of racial and ethnic disparities in health diagnoses and treatment of diseases.
- Identify personal and professional tendencies toward bias and stereotyping through specific examples.
- Recognize common cultural models of health and illness in the community.
- Explain the need for language services in the clinical setting and options to meet identified needs.
- Relate the achievement of cultural competence within a system of care to the necessity of collaboration across multiple health service organizations and disciplines.
General Education Outcomes (GEOs)
Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.
Course Activities and Grading
Discussion Questions (Weeks 1-8)
Self-assessment (Week 1-2)
Analysis of Organizational Mission, Vision, Values, & Diversity/Implicit Biases Assignment (Week 3)
Transcultural Approaches in Healthcare Treatment Approaches Assignment (Week 4)
Research Paper (Week 7)
Journal (Week 8)
Available through Charter Oak State College's online bookstore
- Dreachslin, J.L., Gilbert, M.J., & Malone, B. (2013). Diversity and cultural competence in healthcare: A systems approach. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. ISBN-13: 978-1-118-06560-0
- Ritter, L.A. & Graham, D.H. (2017). Multicultural health (2nd ed). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning. ISBN: 978-1-284-02102-8
Readings and Exercises
Topic: Culture and Diversity Defined
Topic: CLAS Standards and Organizational Implementation
Topic: Applying Cultural Principles in Healthcare Settings
Topic: Cultural Groups of Asian Heritage
Topics: Cultural Groups of Hispanic/Latino Heritage and US Americans of European Heritage
Topic: African Americans, Native Americans/Alaska Natives
Topics: Spirituality, Religion and Health
Topic: Utilizing Resources to Serve Multicultural Patients
COSC Accessibility Statement
Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.
COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources
Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.