Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Cultural Competency and Ethics for Health Professionals

cultural competency PCC

Gain essential cultural agility tools for healthcare professionals at the Institute for Health Professionals. With our Oregon Health Authority approved cultural competency training, you’ll learn how to customize treatments to meet the diverse values, beliefs, and behaviors of your patients.

For organizations seeking to train many staff members, we can customize this training and deliver it on-site for you. For more information, please contact Amy Evans.

The Program

Research demonstrates that cultural competency results in more successful patient education, increases health care-seeking behavior, yields fewer diagnostic errors, and ensures greater adherence to medical advice. Culturally responsive health care workers provide high quality, patient-centered care that reduces health disparity and increases health literacy.

  • Do you want to give your patients better, customized care?
  • Would you like to engage culturally diverse patients in the health care decision making process?
  • Interested in learning how to create a non-judgmental, inclusive healthcare environment?

Create an environment where people feel they can ask questions without judgment and seek the advice and tools they need to improve their health. Foster an understanding of your patients to help them become more involved in their own care.

During this 6-hour course, you will learn how to create a culturally inclusive healthcare environment. This is an in-person course (online option consisting of 4 CEU hours of Cultural Competency training is also available). Working with two long-time leaders in cultural competency and healthcare, you will gain tools and resources to engage people from different backgrounds in conversations about their health care.

Our training includes a combination of case studies, group discussion, role-playing and teachbacks, homework, and culminates in an interactive test with your instructor to demonstrate mastery.

This course is approved by the Oregon Health Authority to meet the cultural competency needs for various Boards in Oregon. Additionally, the following organizations have specifically approved this CE training for their providers:

  • Addiction Counselor Certification Board of Oregon (ACCBO)
  • National Association of Social Workers Oregon (NASW-OR)
  • Oregon Board of Chiropractic Examiners
  • Oregon Board of Massage Therapists

During this course, you will learn how to:

  • Customize patient treatments to meet diverse cultural values and beliefs
  • Increase your self-awareness and sensitivity to the cultural implications, impact, and understanding of health care encounters
  • Assess patients’ health literacy
  • Create a non-judgmental, inclusive environment for patients
  • Improve your ability to involve patients in cooperative health care decision making processes
  • Engage in intercultural communication using a variety of tools and resources
    • Reference Diversity wheel to ensure a broad and inclusive definition of cultural identities
    • Use Berlin & Fowkes’ LEARN Model: Listen, Explain, Acknowledge, Recommend treatment, Negotiate
    • Use Kleinman Model to gain patient perspective of their health condition
    • Work with interpreters and translated materials

By the end of this course, you will have a better understanding of:

  • Cultural factors that may influence provider and patient behaviors
  • Legal issues and regulations around diversity, including patient risks & responsibilities, ADA, CLAS, and Joint Commission requirements
  • Stereotyping vs. archetyping, and how we judge others
  • The importance of culture and how to respect difference in order to provide the highest quality of care and avoid misunderstandings
  • Inequality and social determinants of health
  • Cultural competence as a life long, participatory process, not an endpoint
  • Resources in Oregon to increase cultural competency and gain more information

This class is beneficial for a variety of healthcare professionals, including:

  • Psychologists
  • Counselors and Therapists
  • Chiropractors
  • Dentists and Dental Hygienists
  • Nurses
  • Dieticians
  • Acupuncturists
  • Naturopathic doctors
  • Massage therapists
  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Emergency care providers
  • Home care workers
  • Social workers

The Investment

Format: This is a half day course and includes a brief reading assignment prior to the class. The course is live-streamed online and recorded.

CEU Eligibility: This course is approved by the Oregon Health Authority and fulfills Ethics CEU requirements for many professionals. Approved by Addiction Counselor Certification Board of Oregon (ACCBO), National Association of Social Workers Oregon (NASW-OR), Oregon Board of Chiropractic Examiners, Oregon Board of Massage Therapists for 6 CEU hours.

Cost: $119 (plus $10 technology fee)

The Instructors

Instructors: April Lewis was the Countywide Diversity Manager for Multnomah County for 3 years, followed by 5 years working as the NW Regional Diversity Manager at Kaiser Permanente. Carol French started her career as a Guidance Counselor, then spent 6 years as a Diversity Trainer for Evergreen School District. Since 2005, both instructors have co-facilitated cultural agility trainings, organizational development, and consulted to help businesses and organizations maximize their people resources and achieve desired results.

Looking for the 4-hour course?

Upcoming Course Schedule

Don’t see the course you want? Contact us for more information.


Register Now

  1. View the current schedule of classes and write down your CRN.
  2. Visit non-credit registration and create a new account. Returning PCC Students can skip this step.
  3. Register for your course online using MyPCC.