Competent maternity care can reduce maternal mortality and improve perinatal outcomes using the core cultural competencies. This knowledge is a requirement to reduce preventable deaths in maternal and child health and to build a “much needed” diverse workforce. Cultural competency is a well-established discipline that was introduced to medical education in 1988. It was later adopted by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) as a necessity to understanding the role of culture in the delivery of healthcare (Garrison, S. & Bloom).
I teach competent maternity care as a solution for health care professionals and birth workers with strategies for implementation in their daily practice. The proof is that culturally competent training helps healthcare professionals with communication, patient satisfaction and improved perinatal outcomes. Correcting health disparities in maternity care can be achieved by understanding and using the five core cultural competencies developed by the Columbia University Medical Center Curriculum Committee on Cultural Competency because it allows the provider to track their progress in maternity care and in their health care institution. The next SMC Cultural Competency Training is February 27, 2020 in Portland, OR.
The five core cultural competencies are:
- Cross-cultural Knowledge
- Health Literacy
- Delivery of Care
Maternity Care Standards
Cultural competence in maternity care develops by practicing these skills and understanding that mastery is a lifetime goal.
In summary, adopting cultural competency in the delivery of care can improve trust between patient and provider, reducing preventable deaths in childbirth, particularly among African American women and other women of color. And the five standards are essential at all levels of maternity care to reach this goal.
“Most of my important lessons about life have come from recognizing how others from a different culture view things.”-Edgar H. Schein