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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Cultural Competency in Nursing Homes

Test Your Knowledge on Cultural Competence

Below is a list of questions regarding your knowledge of cultural competence. Please read each question below and decide the best answer — clicking on "Answer" reveals the most appropriate response.


1. A care provider that is highly skilled in cultural competence:

  1. considers only the resident's health view when providing care.
  2. knows about the resident's cultural traditions, values and customs.
  3. treats all cultural facts as absolute truths without testing them with residents.
  4. considers all residents as individuals first and then as a member of an ethnic group.


The answer is D. Care providers who are highly skilled in cultural competence consider a resident as a unique individual first. Understanding the resident's cultural values will encourage respect, negation, and compromise about cultural issues. 

2. A care provider may not be attentive to residents' needs because:

  1. biases may stand in the way.
  2. positive relationships at work exist.
  3. resident recognition is wanted.
  4. resident's family members are friendly.


The answer is A. Care providers must utilize a process of self reflection to analyze their own beliefs and biases that may hamper their involvement with residents. Being sensitive and respectful will help a care provider go beyond preconceived ideas of the resident. 

3. The following action is an example of a non- verbal communication:

  1. displays on a bulletin board.
  2. a pleasing smile.
  3. a giving a friendly, "hello".
  4. a written note to compliment a resident.


The answer is B. The other choices incorporate words and are methods of verbal communication. 

4. The African American health belief system places significant value on:

  1. healing power of the Creator.
  2. advanced medications.
  3. modern medical surgical advancements.
  4. relationships with saints and priestesses.


The answer is A. For many African Americans, there's a belief that a positive relationship with the Creator will maintain health and treat illnesses. 

5. A cultural competency model to identify the resident's view on illness will incorporate the following question:

  1. What is the doctor's view?
  2. What are the resident's views about the illness?
  3. How can medical science help?
  4. How can the resident satisfy the care provider's requests?


The answer is B. Residents from a given culture may have specific views on illness; it's important to ask for those views when coordinating and balancing conventional strategies with the traditions of the resident. 

6. The following behavior shows high intra-personal competence:

  1. sense of humor
  2. stern behavior
  3. impatience
  4. distance from resident


The answer is A. The art of providing good care to residents involves maintaining a sense of humor. It helps to" lighten up" the mood regarding the residents' conditions. 

7. African Americans and Latinos have a similar view with respect to:

  1. family
  2. religion
  3. health beliefs
  4. dress


The answer is A. Both African Americans and Latinos place heavy emphasis on family and extended family members. 

8. The following statement reflects the cultural competency point of view:

  1. Even though my professional or moral viewpoints may differ, I accept family and residents as the ultimate decision makers for services and support.
  2. I recognize and accept that individuals from culturally diverse backgrounds maintain one view on culture.
  3. I understand that family is defined as a mother, father and children.
  4. I accept that religion and spirituality hold no importance in health issues.


The answer is A. Frequent involvement of family members on an individual level as a well as an on an organization level, improves communication and reduces complaints from residents and family members. 

9. An example of a care provider using an effective method to communicate to residents is:

  1. scolding residents.
  2. using non-verbal techniques, such as appropriate touch.
  3. complaining to supervisors.
  4. avoiding difficult residents.


The answer is B. It's important to use a variety of strategies when doing culturally care assessment. The strategy falls into the grouping of non-verbal communication. Other examples are: eye contact, emotional expressiveness, pace of conversation, and physical distance. 

10. It's important for care providers to know a variety of health beliefs to:

  1. make a decision about what health beliefs are more important.
  2. offer recommendations about health options.
  3. coordinate the understanding of various cultural perspectives.
  4. judge the value of each health belief system.


The answer is C. The care team looks to coordinate the perspectives of the residents, family members and conventional views. The goal is to determine whether the residents' health beliefs that are based on their culture, will do harm or good. 

11. One of the main effects of ethnocentrism in the nursing home is:

  1. improved understanding of differences in culture.
  2. acknowledgment of similarities in ethnic group.
  3. creating open dialogues to foster respect.
  4. the continuation of stereotyping residents.


The answer is D. Ethnocentrism is using one's own beliefs to evaluate the situation. It leads to miscommunication, which leads to stereotypes and disrespect, which leads to breakdown in culturally competent care. 

12. The following statement regarding culture and traditions is generally true:

  1. Caucasians hold a health belief that relies on modern science.
  2. The African American family is structured around the nuclear unit.
  3. Latinos follow mostly formal religions and believe less on native healers.
  4. Americans have one health belief system; there's no overlapping of cultures.


The answer is A. Choice A is the only true statement. The other statements are false.