Diversity in the Workplace

6 June 2017

Diversity in the Workplace I have this image of America and the bronze plaque at the bottom of the Statue of Liberty. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore”. We are a country of immigrates, built on the ideals, culture, and inclusion of our differences. Our profession should reflect the inclusive society in which America is built on. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the importance of diversity in the workplace.

Importance of diversity in the workplace “Despite modest gains in ethnic and racial minority representation in the nursing rofession, the current nursing workforce does not mirror the U. S. population (Melillo, Dowling, Abdalah, Findeisen, & Khight, 2013, p. 102). According to authors, there is a clear link between lack of diversity in the nursing workforce and nursing’s ability to effectively address health disparities with high-quality, culturally competent care (Melillo, Dowling, Abdalah, Findeisen, & Khight, 2013).

Whether its age, gender, race or religion, the more inclusive we are the more likely we will be able to relate and understand the needs of our coworkers and patients. The intention of nursing eing a discipline that embraces, integrates, and permeates cultural diversity is continually challenged and evaluated. The changes in the ethnic and cultural composition of the U. S. population constantly challenge nurses daily to incorporate the diverse needs of their clients into the provision of quality nursing care while facing a shortage of adequate qualified staff to meet these needs (Lowe & Archibald, 2009).

It is hard to be aware of all the differences that we all share. It’s easier to look at what we have in common. We want to be satisfied with our Job and we want our atients to feel welcome and well taken care of when they come to us for help. Summary of one aspect of diversity Generational diversity among the nursing workforce has increased in the past ten years. This can be correlated to nurses working longer in their positions because of many outside factors. The economic downturn of the mid 2000, the reduction of pensions and the higher cost of healthcare are Just a few reasons why nurses have stayed longer in their positions.

Age diversity has its pros and cons. Nurses of different age groups are able to gain a broader perspective, offer a better epresentation of patient groups, and make a stronger connection to patients. However, age differences represent different training and thinking, communication patterns, and technology competences, which can increase emotional conflict and work stress, and impair performance and well-being (Lehmann-Willenbrock, Lei & Kauffeld, 2012). We currently have four generations of nurses; veterans, baby boomers, generation x and millennials.

A generation is defined here as an identifiable group that shares birth years, age, location and important life events at critical developmental stages (Hendricks & Cope,2013). There are clear differences etween generations. A millennial will be able to adapt to information gathering quicker because they have grown up in highly technological society. How many times have we asked our children how do you do this with your phone or where do I find it. Understanding the differences in “the norm” of each generation helps to create touch points for commonality.

For example, changes to modes of communication which have taken the focus from face-to-face or written communication, the preferred style of veteran nurses and informal discussions, particularly suited to Baby Boomers, means that personal interactions that build trust and allow for ifferences must now include technology which is more suited to gen Xers and the millennials (Hendricks & Cope, 2013). We need to highlight the best traits of each generation to provide the best care for the patient. Creating a supporting and inclusive environment leads to greater Job satisfaction and lower burn out.

Underrepresentation of minorities in nursing Why are nurses mostly Caucasian and Female? Why is there predisposition for certain departments within a hospital? Why are there an increased number of men in the Emergency Room and Intensive Care Unit departments compared to the rest of he hospital? Researchers have found that these disparities in race/ethnicity are not due to genetic differences but rather to social complexities, racism, and differences in treatment (Maughan & Barrows, 2013). If you grow up not being able to afford good health care or are not in an environments that value’s it, how would you aspire to become nurse?

When there is support from the government, universities, and healthcare groups, there is spike of interest when the programs are in effect. Interest has to be developed at an early stage for a minority to want to become a nurse. If you do not know that it could be a possible to become a nurse or that’s it exciting for you? Why would you want to become a nurse? So I feel that the underrepresentation is a factor of perceived status, social prejudice and economic disparity. Influence of diversity on nursing care Diversity brings a different perspective toa problem.

For instance, their findings show that when people with diverse demographic characteristics are together in groups or organizational settings, the different perspectives lead to more creative solutions to problems (Gates & Mark, 2012). A good example of this might be as imple as the ability to speak Spanish. If I am trying to communicate with a patient and I am unable to understand or the patient understands me then it would be beneficial to have a Spanish speaker on the floor to assist in the communication with the patient.

The patient will be more relaxed because her medical condition will be accurately described. Society expects nursing to be culturally competent in response to the increasing prevalence of diverse people in the United States (Lowe & Archibald, 2009). We were taught in nursing school that different races have a predisposition to ertain conditions but this wasn’t enough. Nursing as a profession and discipline can conceptualize cultural diversity as more than Just an awareness of diverse cultures through basic nursing curricula (Lowe & Archibald, 2009).

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