Culturally Competent Care Complements Interactions with People with Disabilities


  • Paul Nathenson MPA RN CRRN HN-BC

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    • Paul Nathenson, MPA RN CRRN HN-BC, is vice president of corporate planning and long-term care at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, NE.


This article describes the concept of disability as a culture, discusses key components of cross-cultural communication with people with disabilities, and identifies the key elements of providing culturally competent care to people with disabilities. To gain an understanding of cultural competence, it is important to understand the concepts and definitions of culture, disability, and competence. The World Health Organization classification of functioning, disability, and health will be used as the theoretical model in the discussion on disability. J. Campinha-Bacote's Cultural Competent Model of Care is used as the theoretical model for the discussion on cultural competence.