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One of the challenges that can surprise even the most well-trained healthcare professional is encountering an unforeseen cultural barrier. Even basic actions like handshakes are interpreted differently in different cultures, and knowing what those differences are can making it more difficult to communicate with and treat patients. Even more applicable, different beliefs and values when it comes to medical care can have significant effect on the patient relationship.

Penn State Health offers a service through CultureVision that provides a comprehensive database to assist providers in providing culturally sensitive patient care. While this by no means is a substitute for talking to the patient and learning about their specific beliefs and practices, it does offer a starting point.

You can access CultureVision via this link, though please note it will only work while you’re on the campus.