Cultural humility in public health

My definition of cultural humility is to be empathetic of another person’s need. It is
important to be cultural sensitivity with another person cultural beliefs and how it impacts
their health. According to Hook, Davis, Owen Worthington and Utsey (2013) conceptualize
cultural humility as the “ability to maintain an interpersonal stance that is other-oriented
(or open to the other) in relation to aspects of cultural identity that are most important to
the (person)” (p.2) (American Psychological Association, 2013). To be culturally competent
and to serve others starts with first assessing your own beliefs. You must be able place your
own beliefs aside and become humble to address the concerns of your patient without
I work in a large county hospital where the population we serve are indigent residents of
Dallas county. These patients are homeless, have low literacy, and are complex cases.
Education needs to be provided at their educational level of understanding. Teaching needs
to be provided with instruction in how to produce compliancy with medications and the
effects on their disease process. Close monitoring of these patients regarding medication
compliance helps decrease progression of their disease process, risk for admissions to the
hospital, and decrease cost of care.
Reflections on cultural humility. (2020).


Contrary to the definition provided by Sandra, my definition of cultural humility in public health
entails a respectful attitude developed towards individuals with different cultural values, beliefs,
and social traditions. It is an attitude that drives an individual to challenge his/her cultural biases
based on the willingness to learn about the cultural beliefs, values, and traditions of other people.
As such, this definition coincides with the one in the material readings. It describes it as the
maintenance of interpersonal stances that are open or oriented to other people with regards to
cultural identity (Yeager & Bauer-Wu, 2013). More precisely, the correlation between the two
definitions is based on the fact that they emphasize the placement of personal beliefs aside and

the willingness to focus on the concerns of the patient without prejudice in the context of public
health. Most fundamentally, Sandra’s example highlights an elaborate instance in which cultural
humility can be applied, and that aligns with the definitions provided herein (Yeager & Bauer-
Wu, 2013). Nonetheless, another essential principle that may be used when community on
matters public health entails cultural responsiveness that epitomizes the activation of the
individuals’ prior knowledge and encouraging them to leverage their cultural capital.


Yeager, K. A., & Bauer-Wu, S. (2013). Cultural humility: Essential foundation for clinical
researchers. Applied Nursing Research, 26(4), 251-256.

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