Cultural competence isn't a destination; it's a journey that never stops.
The physical therapy profession cannot achieve its vision of societal transformation without a commitment to promoting and practicing a high level of cultural competence in all areas of practice, research, and education. It’s key to our future as relevant health care providers.
Far from being a limited set of prescribed skills, cultural competence is more holistic—"a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals that enables work in cross-cultural situations," according to the CDC. Those cross-cultural situations aren't limited to race or ethnicity—they can also include language, religion, age, gender identification and much more.
While a major component of the cultural competence journey involves understanding and appreciating differences, working toward those "congruent behaviors" also requires individuals to take an honest look at themselves, their own biases, and how those biases may affect the care they provide patients—and the ways they see the world around them. Working toward greater cultural competence demands a willingness to learn and an openness to possibility.
Jan 15, 2020 / Open Access
Oct 6, 2020 / Resource
Sep 20, 2019 / Policies & Bylaws
Jun 2, 2020
Evidence shows racial and ethnic disparities exist across a range of illnesses and health care services.
May 19, 2020
We are striving to improve DEI in our profession and association.
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Additional Cultural Competence in Physical Therapy Content
Feb 8, 2021 / Resource
This course considers the clinical decision-making process and clinical reasoning strategies for incorporating the needs of a diverse patient population.
Feb 8, 2021 / Resource
This course introduces physical therapy professionals to the concept of Diversity Climate and its relationship to positive organizational outcomes.
Feb 8, 2021 / Article
PTs and PTAs must be aware of the diversity and complexity of gender identity to provide patient-centered, patient-partnered care.
Jan 15, 2021 / Article
A baseline for beginning to explore cultural competence as it relates to race and ethnicity.
Jan 8, 2021 / Article
Insight on working in cross-cultural situations.
Nov 24, 2020 / Article
The culturally competent practice of physical therapy includes practice with patients and clients who have mental or physical disabilities.
Nov 12, 2020 / Resource
Older adults deserve care based on clinical need without the interference of ageism.
Oct 13, 2020 / Article
Individuals who identify as members of a sexual minority deserve care that's sensitive to difference.
Jul 21, 2020 / Open Access
You can help LGBTQ patients feel safe and supported by taking these five simple actions.
Jun 5, 2020 / Perspective
"The look" comes from a poor understanding of those who are different from us.