With the advent of
globalization, various professions have witnessed an increasing composition of
diverse workforce. To the healthcare sector, diversity has manifested in the
composition of patient population. As a result of this phenomenon, biases
concerning various pockets of the population have begun to emerge. As
professionals, they are not supposed to go down this route. Ethics and social
justice requires practitioners to exercise professionalism while attending to
all patients. This paper looks at the effects of diversity in the health sector.
Diversity and behavioral health services
In a homogenous
population, there will be all sorts of individuals from across different but
similar demographics. Therefore, health practitioners might form misconceptions
about the specific individuals. However, diversity comes in to eradicate such
misconceptions. For instance, a health practitioner might come to associate
certain ailments with specific individuals in a homogenous population. On the
other hand, patients from diverse populations suffering the same conditions
might prove them wrong when they display similar symptoms. At this point, the
practitioners might have to consider alternative treatment options that conform
to the international standard best practice (Hall et al, 2015). Diversity
enables health practitioners to acquire broad perspectives concerning the
industry. It horns their skills to anticipate all sorts of patients from the
general environment. Having encountered a wide range of diverse patients from
diverse backgrounds, health practitioners would be better able to attend to
Social justice and behavioral health services
Social justice is all
about providing the appropriate services basing on their profiles. It does not
consider any demographic profiling that might occur on any portion of the
population. On an ordinary day, the health practitioners have to follow the
code of conduct. However, social justice comes in to promote equality and
remedy historical injustices that the populations have been visited upon in
their lifetimes. They are just individuals with minimal attachments to the
past. The best way to handle the situation would be to handle the populations
individually basing on their past profiles (Godsil & Richardson, 2017).
Even though this might be tough, a qualified, expert health practitioner must
be able to determine the difference between the conventional patient and the
ones having to deal with historical injustices.
For such populations, it
would be difficult for individuals to afford the conventional, mainstream
healthcare. This is where social justice comes in to provide subsidized
services for disadvantaged services in the community. Recently, the perfect
embodiment of the concept rests in the highly controversial Obama-Care in the
US. The concept was all about providing necessary treatment to those that truly
deserved the treatment. This is why repealing the idea has been so difficult
even for the most staunch of republican stalwarts. Any way social justice is
all about providing health care to the portions of populations that have
suffered historical injustices and cannot afford to access the mainstream
service in the present day.
Special populations and possible biases
Some of the most common
demographics in a special population include race, nationality, or religion.
These demographics tend to span across such populations, making it difficult to
establish correlations between health issues and such factors.
For instance, the Islamic
faith forbids the consumption of alcohol. Therefore, alcoholics subscribing to
this religion are rare to come by. Most professionals even tend to believe that
Muslims would not suffer from this disease. Furthermore, race could also play a
critical role in the field. To be specific, a diverse nation with black and
white population tends to have the black population disadvantaged due to
historical injustices. Therefore, one would sum up a member of the black race
as suffering from drug addiction as conforming to the stereotypes for their
As a health practitioner,
the above-mentioned factors could influence the way they interact or handle
patients. They could stand in the way of devising best treatment procedures for
patients. As mentioned, a Muslim alcoholic is a rare case. In fact, the health
practitioner would judge such a patient for going against their religion. For
an addict from the minority black race in the western world, it would be much
difficult to interact with the health practitioners since they have
predetermined stereotypes. The practitioners will associate their substance
abuse with their race.
Awareness of biases and behavioral health client
Biases result from one’s
intuition, or better yet upbringing and social backgrounds. However, as a
professional, the health practitioner must rise above such issues to
disseminate their work according to the international best practitioners.
Therefore, as a professional, the main task will be to ensure that they attend
to the needs of the patients.
Awareness of the biases
makes health practitioners better be able to disseminate their work. As
mentioned, it is almost unexpected for a Muslim to develop alcoholism since
their faith forbids the consumption of alcohol. However, awareness of the bias
might enable one to look beyond the faith. They will engage the patient as
individuals suffering from alcoholism as opposed to the fact that they profess
the Islamic faith to begin with.
Furthermore, awareness to
such biases enables one to become a full professional. Normally, the public
harbors similar prejudices. However, it is up to the professional to rise above
such misconceptions to develop the true picture in as far as the patient is
concerned (Yan & Tan, 2017). Professionals need not to dwell on petty
stereotypes but develop the true perspectives concerning all patients under
their care. Therefore, becoming aware of such biases is the first way to
becoming a fully-fledged professional.
That diversity manifests
in the health sector should not be a surprising phenomenon anymore. This was
bound to happen with the increasing level of globalization and resultant
immigration. However, this should not provide the excuse to develop biases
towards certain members of the society. Moving forward, the sector needs to
come up with best practices and standards to avoid possible negative
consequences of this emergent phenomenon.