The healthcare providers must be prepared to offer care to culturally diverse populations. This paper will focus on the Spanish speaking groups.

The healthcare providers must be prepared to offer care to culturally diverse populations. This paper will focus on the Spanish speaking groups.

The Hispanic culture was chosen because they are immigrants and minorities. This means that the attention given to this group is minimal because of them being minorities. There is need for healthcare providers the Hispanic culture. Familiarization with the culture can be done by the provider through; reading about the culture, visiting, taking lessons, socializing with persons from this community, attending social events in that culture, seeking clarification about their beliefs, traditions and their history as well as spiritual orientation of the community.

Cultural sensitivity is the knowledge that cultural differences exist before one can say whether they are good or bad. Failure in communication can easily be interpreted as bias, stereotyping, or prejudice and subsequently influence the quality of care. Nurses must strive to comprehend clients’ health care needs through effective listening, attentiveness to non-verbal cues, and proper eye contact. Other non-verbal communication for a given culture include time and space consciousness, modesty, silence, dressing code, provider’s gender, among many others.






Key points in the article

The discussion is based on the article ‘Closing the Gap while working with Spanish speaking populations’. There are several traits of Hispanics that is experienced from one country to another. These are discussed below;


In Latin America it is necessary to note that Portuguese and French also used and some native languages such as Quichua, Quechua, Quiche, and Aymara. Thus the providers of healthcare should not assume that Spanish is the language spoken by a person originating from the Latin America. Therefore, it is advisable to determine the language spoken by the client before finding an interpreter.Consideration of use of a word in different contexts should also be employed.


Though they constantly hug, kiss close friends and relatives or friends introduced by a kin, healthcare providers should shake the hands of clients to show formality. They have a culture of offering food and drinks to visitors, hence the healthcare provider should accept their offer or reject it in a graceful manner showing appreciation of the gesture.

Personal Space

They embrace being close to others, the providers should note that the physical distance between Hispanics is nearer as compared for other communities.


Perceptions of Time

People originating from Latin America are relaxed on the issue of punctuality. In areas where time and punctuality is observed, the family can be advised that they must arrive early as failure to do so may result in rescheduling.


They embrace being in a family and a household may include a number of generations. The respect for extended family and the respect for elders, grandparents often must be included in decisions and therapy sessions to achieve the best outcomes for the child. In some meetings, the whole family may attend where children are also brought along rather than left at home.

To be sure the family fully participates, providers should know who will attend and make accommodations for adequate space and materials for the children.

To ensure success, providers should involve all decision-makers when planning interventions, individual education plans as well as plans involving the family.

Gender Roles

It should be noted that in some Hispanic families boys are not allowed to play with toys meant for boys and vice versa. Some families could not want a male provider meeting a mother and their children at home alone and therefore the inclusion of another adult is important.



Views on Professionals

Respect for the professional is common in Hispanic culture. This attitude is grounded in the cultural respect for authority. Respect for authority may make the involved parties not to ask questions so as not to be perceived as disagreeing.


Some cultures may still view a disability as a punishment from God. Others try to make a disability a private thing that should not be exposed to the public due to fear of social stigma.

Health Beliefs

To avoid misunderstanding; the provider should enquire how the Hispanic view traditional medicine as well as western medicine or the combination of both traditional and western. Providers should identify when a patient has a different health belief about their affliction and they should enquire by open-ended questions so as to know when a patient has a differing health belief. The information that is gathered by the provider should be used to determine the most appropriate intervention.

Practice situation demonstrating cultural sensitivity

Providing patient education

For effective communication, the health provider should show that they have respect for their client’s diversity in culture and they should always be non-judgmental.

The healthcare provider should consider whether they should include a family member or a spouse while educating the patient. The health provider should make the client comfortable by encouraging them to ask for clarification for any queries that they may be having. The provider should also ensure that the language used is appropriate to the patient by investigating prior to their meeting and they should ensure the right interpreter is assigned. Another factor to consider is the sitting arrangement; the distance between health provider and patient, angle at which eye contact is made. They should also be aware that certain gestures such as nodding of the head does not necessarily indicate that the patient has understood, they should ask the client whether they need further clarification.


To build better relationships with Spanishspeaking families, it is important that service providers understand the health perceptions and cultural beliefs of Hispanic community. Health care systems must create culturally competent environments in an effort to provide optimum health care delivery to these families.

For providers aspiring to be more culturally competent, they must remember not toassume that an individuals from one ethnic group have the same cultural beliefs as another individual from the same ethnic group. They should acknowledge that within a certain group there may exist racial and ethnicity differences. Providers should be honest with their clients and open and they should indicate that they are culturally sensitive.



Sumer, L. (2015). Closing the Gap while working with Spanish speaking populations. NCHAM.