Cultural Competence for Health Care Providers: Undocumented Immigrant Latino/a Patients



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The United States’ relationship with immigrants is complicated. Economically the country utilizes the labor and services many immigrants provide at an unethically reduced cost. Historically labor has been imported from other countries, with a heavy focus on Latin America in recent years, and foreign policy has been implemented to augment this approach. However, politically immigrants are often used as scapegoats for unemployment and crime, including human trafficking. Unfortunately, many Latino/a undocumented immigrants are forced into situations where their standard of living directly impacts their health. In the United States, healthcare is inaccessible to undocumented immigrants regardless of the cause of their ailments. Most of the United States has failed to address access to healthcare for undocumented immigrants, and the health care system has become so privatized that compassionate care and acute health services, which have access delegated by local governments, are the only option for undocumented immigrants. The purpose of this project is not to prove that policy can be implemented to improve access to healthcare, nor is it to prove that the undocumented population is a burden to the system. Instead, it will focus on educating individual providers about how to better assess undocumented patients by understanding their culture and concerns. This project will present a handout informing providers of cultural considerations that help build rapport with Latino/a immigrant patients. It also includes an overview of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition Text Revision (DSM-V-TR, APA, 2022) components that focus on cultural assessment.



Undocumented, Latinos, Latinas, Culture, Health Care, Providers, DSM-V, Cultural formulation interview, CFI, pamphlet