Institute:Office of National Coordinator (ONC) Workforce Training Curriculum
Component:The Culture of Health Care
Unit:An Overview of the Culture of Health Care
Lecture:What is meant by "the culture of health care"
Slide content:Health Professional Culture Western biomedicine compared to alternatives Allopathic medicine, osteopathic medicine Complementary and alternative medicine Chinese medicine and acupuncture traditions Naturopathic and homeopathic Nursing culture, physician culture Nursing as a holistic, caring profession Physicians as disease focused, benign paternalism, autonomy, Provider setting Hospitals: surgery, medicine, ICU, OR, ER cultures Other: Physician offices, clinics, home health, long-term care 22
Slide notes:The fourth major theme in literature on the culture of health care is the culture of health professions or the beliefs, values, and practices of the professions themselves. Much of the literature discusses comparisons of western biomedicine or allopathic medicine to other traditions such as osteopathic medicine, as well as to complementary and alternative medicines such as traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, and naturopathic or homeopathic practice. These health care practice traditions differ not only in the treatments and interventions they provide, but in the underlying belief systems about the causes and consequences of illness on which those treatments are based. Also prominent in the literature on health care culture are discussions of the cultures which are specific to individual professions such as nursing culture or physician culture. Nursing may be characterized, for example, as a holistic and caring profession. Physicians may be characterized as being focused on diseases, expressing a benign paternalism, and placing great importance on autonomy. Closer examination reveals that the culture of health professionals is often more fine-grained than that, with differences found within provider settings. There are cultural differences within a hospital setting such as with a surgical unit compared to a medical unit, or differences among the distinct cultures of critical care units, operating rooms, and emergency rooms. The culture found in a hospital setting is different from the culture found in other provider settings such as physician office practices, outpatient clinics, home health providers, or even long term care. The closer we look at the culture of health care the more cultures we find. 22