Superior attitude by health care providers and disregard to patients

Superior attitude by health care providers and disregard to patients’ beliefs and practices
can lead to catastrophic health outcomes. “To be effective, one needs to see and appreciate
the value of different cultures” ( Rosen et al, 2004). Vaughn (2009) state that the need for
cultural competence is undeniable in order to address “fragmented system of care where
some receive better services than others” ( Vaughn, 2009). Cultural ethnocentricity and
relativism are both new and old concepts. How could you explain cultural ethnocentricity
and relativism? How does each affect cultural competence in health care system? Please
provide examples to support your statements.



Indeed, the exemplification of an attitude of superiority among healthcare providers, coupled
with a disregard for the patients’ beliefs and practices, may yield undesirable health outcomes.
The aversion of such adversaries necessitates cultural competence among healthcare providers
and the appreciation of cultural diversity. These components facilitate the development of an
amalgamated system of care that ensures access to equal and affordable care services. Cultural
ethnocentricity in healthcare practices describes the attitude and belief that an individual’s culture
is better than that of other people, and should thus be considered the standard structure of
reference (Vaughn, 2009). On the other hand, relativism refers to activities associated with the
assessment of a culture based on its different standards as opposed to perceiving it through the
lens of an individual’s cultural beliefs. These distinct components affect cultural competence
within a health care system in that ethnocentrism drives the healthcare providers from one

culture towards the tendency to perceive people from other cultures as indifferent. Similarly,
relativism may encourage healthcare professionals to assess an individual from a particular
religion by focusing on the standards and practices portrayed as opposed to viewing it through
the lens of his/her culture. As a result, these effects can hinder the provision of the necessary care
services by impacting the cultural competence of healthcare professionals (Vaughn, 2009).


Vaughn, L. M. (2009). Families and cultural competency. Family & Community Health, 32(3),