Culture is defined “as a set of values, practices, traditions or beliefs a group shares, whether due to age, race or ethnicity, religion or gender” (Mayhew, 2014). Diversity is “the inclusion of individuals representing more than one national origin, color, religion, socioeconomic stratum, sexual orientation” (2014). Diversity in the workplace refers to the variety of differences between people in an organization. It can include gender, age, personality, background, race, ethnic group, and much more. It doesn’t just include how people see themselves but how they see others as well and this affect how they act in a work environment. Some of the issues companies have to deal with are communication, adaptability and change. Embracing diversity and accepting and appreciating the differences means individual strengths and weaknesses can be understood and factored into building workplace teams. Recognizing and appreciating cultural differences is only the tip of the iceberg. Subordinate group attitudes that have developed over time may cause them to be defensive. It is necessary to work towards bridging the gap between dominant and subordinate groups to help them to communicate better. Managers and leaders need to step out of their comfort levels and develop knowledge of cultural differences and be sensitive to the fact that there are diversity issues.
If you establish relationships at work with people who are different than you, you start to learn about the talent and knowledge that diverse culture can add to your company. Most hospitals have come to the realization that people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, genders, as well as religions, bring with them different values and perspectives. Managers have to make sure that top priority is given to patient care. If there are misunderstandings between employees related to culture, ethnicity, or gender, it will eventually affect patient care. It is the managers’ duty to keep in mind that it is important to make the hospital unit as diverse as possible but making sure there is also a balance. “Fortunately, attitudes are changing. Nursing managers in hospitals must creating workplace and educational programs to help nurses overcome discriminatory feelings they may consciously or unconsciously hold toward colleagues or patients.” (Rob & Douglas, 2004).
If there are diverse groups in the unit, there are a number of nurses who think differently and have a different way of looking at patients and their needs. Therefore there is a better chance that patient’s needs will be tended to. Being a lefty for a day is a challenge that left handed people endure on a daily basis. Tasks such as opening a bottle of wine, using a wall mounted pencil sharpener, and turning the pages of a book were all rather difficult. Daily tasks that we don’t think twice about become r a daunting mountain to climb. My mom is a left-handed so in addition to my own experience, I asked her what she has gone through since she was born a lefty. She told me that her mom, my grandmother, would always yell at her for using her left hand to write and do day to day tasks. When my mom would do her homework with her left hand, my grandmother would threaten her and make her use her right hand.
Her reason was that left handed people are not “smart.” In today’s modern day and age, we know and understand that is not the case. “Forcing a left-handed to be right-handed causes reduced activity in the dominant right hemisphere and increase activity in the non-dominant side. Since creativity and imagination are dominant parts of right brain, they will remain under-developed and the left-side of the brain sees increased activity that deals with reality, facts and logic, characteristics that are opposite of the person’s true potential” (Abbasi, 2011). Forcing people therefore tends to make them slower and do not reach their potential in life. It does seem being a lefty in a right handed world is a very big disadvantage. However, lefty’s do learn to adapt to doing things with both hands making them ambidextrous. So, in the end they gained something, rather than losing something.
Chron. (2007, May 4). Examples of Cultural Differences in the Workplace. Retrieved From the Chron small business website:
Reason before Passion. (2011, August 8). Never force left-handed child to be right-handed.
Retrieved from the Reason before Passion website: