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Concept Analysis of Diversity

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Introduction

Diversity is a very critical concept in the nursing field considering the fact that it makes it possible for patients from different backgrounds to receive quality medical care. However, very few people pay attention to the diversity concept when discussing nursing issues. In nursing care, the term diversity includes a wide range of demographics including physical characteristics, sexual orientation, social-economic status, ethnic heritage, religion, age, disability, gender, race, educational status, veteran status, and national origin (Campinha-Bacote, 2002). The need to bridge the existing divide between a patient’s values and beliefs and the general culture of medicine calls for stakeholders in the industry to consider diversity as a major component of medical practice. Campinha-Bacote (2002) observes that the ultimate care is guaranteed when healthcare providers take time to consider their patient’s values, practices, and beliefs. This paper will analyze diversity as a concept covering the dictionary definitions of the term, uses of the concept in various fields, attributes, interrelated concepts, antecedents, and consequences.

Dictionary Definitions of Diversity

The available descriptions of the term “Diversity” appear to be the same with very slight differences. According to the American Heritage Dictionary (2017), diversity is defined as “A point or respect in which things differ…variety or multiformity” or “The fact or quality of being diverse; difference”. Also, Diversity is described as “…Being composed of differing elements” and goes on to state, “the inclusion of different types of people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization” (Merriam-Webster, 2017). The Miriam-Webster definition puts a lot of emphasis on people that come from multicultural backgrounds. The other definition of diversity by Encarta Online Dictionary (2017) is more precise as it describes diversity as “A variety of something such as opinion, color, or style”. It is quite evident that most of the words used to describe diversity are interchangeable.

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Uses in Various Fields

Diversity has become a major part of nursing care in the modern world. Campinha-Bacote (2002) suggests that the multicultural nature of most countries calls for cultural competence among healthcare practitioners in order to guarantee quality healthcare. Historically, there are many instances where patients from minorities have ended up with limited access to quality healthcare. As a result, most healthcare facilities around the world have begun to increase the number of minority providers to affectively attend to patients from minority patients (Campinha-Bacote, 2002). In addition, having culturally competent providers that understand different cultures guarantees positive outcomes and patient satisfaction. According to Campinha-Bacote (2002), diversity in the healthcare workforce promotes transcultural nursing in healthcare facilities. Moreover, holistic care cannot be administered with a diverse healthcare workforce or culturally competent providers. Cultural competence also addresses most of the issues associated with communication breakdown.

Biology

The concept of diversity is applicable in Biology when it comes to representing the different elements in an ecosystem. According to Franco (2013), biodiversity is a concept that has a very wide scope in the field of Biology as it includes different forms of diversity like functional diversity, crop diversity, phylogenetic diversity, species diversity, and genetic diversity. Biodiversity brings monetary benefits to a nation despite its ecological significance. Franco (2013) observes that the diversity of biological resources in a nation helps to sustain the production of important goods and services in a country. Furthermore, the biodiversity concept is very critical when it comes to conservation of nature.

Management

The universal nature of the management field means that you cannot fail to mention the diversity concept when speaking about management. According to Mba andTeresa (2013), the term management is normally used by all types of organizations including social, cultural, political, and business organizations. The concept of management comes in when it comes to affirmative action and equal access to opportunities. The need to value differences in organizations has made many managers in organizations to adopt the diversity concept. Most companies continue to embrace diversity in their work forces and brands to improve performance and guarantee customer satisfaction (Mba &Teresa, 2013). The sustainability of any organization depends on its ability incorporate diversity in its processes and operations. Diversity in management in management comes with a wide range of benefits to the organization. To begin with, having diverse work forces promote innovation as a result of the different cultural experiences. Second, an organization that embraces diversity attracts talent and customers (Mba &Teresa, 2013). Third, an organization that hires a diverse work force enhances cultural intelligence among employees as they get an opportunity to learn and appreciate different cultures.

Social Science

Social scientists apply the concept of cultural concepts in most of their studies due to its major implications in human relations. The three major branches of social science include Psychology, Anthropology, and Sociology and all of them focus on how human being relate with their environment and fellow human beings (Crisp, 2011). Cultural diversity can be explained as a variety of human cultures, societies, belied systems, strategies, and social structures. Crisp (2011) argues that the diverse nature of human beings makes the concept of cultural diversity critical in understanding human relationships. It is interesting to learn that human beings differ in many ways including lifestyle, religion, class, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, nationality, and race. The diversity can create joy or pain depending on the cultural competence of the people involved. Social scientists argue that cultural diversity creates richness in opinion, makes people to be compassionate about others, and generally improves human interactions.

Nutrition

Diversity is applied in the nutrition field through a concept known as dietary diversity. Dietary diversity can be described as the ability to change foods or eat a variety of foods (Powell et al. 2017). Lack of dietary diversity can lead to serious consequences such as malnutrition and other severe conditions. As a result, nutritionists develop diet plans that include all the basic food classifications and minerals. According to Powell et al. (2017), a diverse diet plan should include carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins, and some essential minerals. However, most people fail to achieve dietary diversity due to a number of reasons. Dietary diversity is limited by lack agrobiodersity, temporal availability of diverse foods, low income, personality, and eating traditions.

Attributes

The most notable attributes of the diversity concept include bioculturalism, acculturation, enculturation, and application of diversity implications. The four concepts must be present for the diversity concept to exist. Bioculturalism is the tendency to acknowledge that cultural diversity is liked to biological diversity in terms of practice, languages and knowledge (Mba &Teresa, 2013). Acculturation happens when cultures blend to bring forth cultural, psychological, and social change. On the other hand, enculturation can be described as a process by which an individual makes an effort to learn the culture associated with their new environment in order to fit in the new culture in terms of behaviors and values.

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Diversity has a lot of implication in the day-to-day life, and that is why it should be applied in the right way in order to achieve the desired outcomes. Diversity may have both positive and negative implications in various fields but it is important to make good of the positive implications. It is important to collect data on diversity characteristics like sexual orientation, social-economic status, ethnic heritage, religion, age, disability, gender, race, educational status, veteran status, and national origin (Mba &Teresa, 2013). There can be no diversity without considering data associated with these characteristics.

Interrelated Concepts

Diversity as a concept is never applied in isolation, and that is why there are other concepts that normalize the diversity process. Such concepts affect change as well as cause negative consequences when they are not applied together with the diversity concept. Examples of concepts that are interrelated with diversity include; patient-centered care, patient education, interpersonal relationships, communication, coping, and cultural competence (Mba &Teresa, 2013).

Antecedents

Antecedents are factors that precede a concept before it exists. Also, they can be described as incidents or events that precede a concept. According to the reviewed literature, there are quite a number of antecedents that are associated with the diversity concept. The manner in which an individual perceives diversity is largely influenced by the manner in which they receive information on diversity as well as the level of their experience with diversity (Campinha-Bacote, 2002). According to Campinha-Bacote (2002), the diversity climate is influenced by individual similarities and differences in terms of life experiences, education, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, and age. Significant differences in the mentioned diversity characteristics turn them into critical antecedents.

Consequences

Proper functioning within the concept leads to positive consequences or outcomes while a malfunction with a particular concept leads to negative consequences. The notable positive consequences associated with the diversity concept include; inner peace, hope, strength, cultural identity, appropriate child-upbringing practices, and culturally congruent care (Campinha-Bacote, 2002). On the other hand, the negative consequences or outcomes of the diversity concept include; fearful patients, communication breakdown, non-compliance, hopelessness, stress, and culture-specific illnesses.

Conclusion

The diverse nature of human beings makes it difficult to ignore the concept of diversity in critical disciplines like nursing. Diversity is a very wide concept considering its application in many fields and disciplines. The concept has many dictionary definitions but only slight differences can be noted in the definitions. Diversity can be applied in fields such as nursing, management, social sciences, nutrition, and biology. Each of the mentioned field benefits from the diversity concepts in many different ways. Diversity is interrelated with concepts such as communication, patient education, patient-centered care, interpersonal relationships, coping, interpersonal relationships, and cultural competence. The antecedents associated with diversity include; educational status, disability, sexual orientation, social-economic status, age, ethnic heritage, religion, gender, race, veteran status, and national origin. The diversity concept can lead to both positive and negative consequences depending on how it is applied. It is important for healthcare professionals to embrace the concept of diversity as it guarantees positive outcomes and sustainability.

1. Campinha-Bacote, J. (2002). The purpose of cultural competency in the delivery of healthcare services: A model of care. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 13,181-184.

2. Crisp, R. (2011). The Psychology of Social and Cultural Diversity. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

3. Encarta Online Dictionary, (2017). Diversity. Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/site/encartadictionaryonlineisa/home

4. Franco, J. (2013). The concept of biodiversity and the history of conservation biology: from wilderness preservation to biodiversity conservation. História, 32(2).

5. Mba, I. &Teresa, E. (2013). Diversity in the Concept of Management: Different Style and Difference Ethics. American Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 1(3).

6. Merriam-Webster, (2017). Diversity. Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diversity

7. Powell, B. et al. (2017). The determinants of dietary diversity and nutrition: Ethnonutrition knowledge of local people in the East Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed, 13, 23.

8. The American Heritage Dictionary, (2017). Diversity. Retrieved from https://ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=Diversity

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