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Jan. 7, 2011 | Volume 22, No. 1

2011 Cultural Competency series

Dignity and Respect Tip No. 11: Treating others the way they want to be treated is respecting others’ differences. As an organization, providing our patients with the dignity and respect they deserve includes making the experience meaningful to them as individuals.

In the next few months, we will share real-life stories of how employees at UPMC put patients first by being culturally competent and recognizing those differences, ensuring they are taken into consideration for quality patient care.

Our first story in this series involves a patient from United Arab Emirates who was to have gastric bypass surgery. She chose UPMC St. Margaret for her medical needs after investigating her facility options. In preparation for her arrival, the hospital staff researched cultural aspects related to caring for an Arab woman. Hospital staff collaborated to develop a plan of care that would meet her cultural, religious, dietary, and social needs, while maintaining the standard of care for gastric bypass patients.

Staff worked closely with the patient’s family, implementing a 24/7 on-call translator when the family was not available. Staffing patterns were adjusted due to her culture’s prohibiting any male interactions. Hospital staff also rearranged the furniture in her room so that her bed could face east, as she preferred.

The best way to foster cultural competency is by example. If you or a team member recognized that a patient had special needs, created a plan to meet those needs, and implemented the plan successfully, please tell us about it. E-mail your stories to inclusion@upmc.edu. If chosen, your story may be shared and highlighted in the cultural competency series in Extra.

By treating people the way they want to be treated, we can all do our part to ensure that inclusion is at the core of what we do every day.


Return to list of stories in this issue