Many people like to think that they culturally sensitive. Cultural sensitivity can be defined as the capability of an individual to put him or herself into the shoe of another person so that he can see the world in that person’s viewpoint. It is argued that cultural sensitivity starts when an individual acknowledges that there are several differences between cultures. These differences are reflected in the manner in which different groups relate and communicate with each other. As I make myself ready for a career in dental hygiene, I understand that for me and my patients to interact effectively, we must shun both cultural biases and cultural sensitivities that can create obstacles between us. Mine is a western culture that is racially and ethnically diverse as a result of interaction with people from other cultures. I am a typical American who is conservative, risk taker, scientific competitive, materialistic, and morally upright. Although I can speak Spanish, German and French, my first language is English. In my culture, not only do we value family ties and friendship, but also time. I have always been culturally sensitive from childhood as a result of my upbringing and the environment within which I was brought. I was brought up in a neighborhood that was culturally diverse and thus; a majority of my childhood friends came from different cultural backgrounds. The situation was the same when I went to school because I met and made friends with students from other cultures other than my own. These culturally diverse environments have given me an me an opportunity to appreciate, embrace and understand different cultures. Moreover, interacting with these people of different ethnic groups and cultures as a child helped me to become cross culturally aware.
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Going by the cultural sensitive test result, I am a culture sensitive person. I am fully aware that there could be differences between my culture and that of other people. Every day, I try to understand the ways of life and traditions of other countries as I attempt to apply and learn new understandings. As a culturally sensitive person, I always try to be free from preconceptions and prejudice about other people’s culture. I believe that respect for diversity, tolerance, and intercultural dialogue is more important than ever in my dream profession because it brings more and more people together. Now I am ready to pursue a career in dentistry because I believe I have what it takes to make a good dentist. Language cannot be an obstacle between me and the patients because I am good in several languages. Although I may not have full knowledge of every cultural beliefs and practices, I am very sensitive to other people’s values and preferences. I believe that patients with whom I will interact with will willfully share their problems because I will understand them. It goes without saying that cross cultural sensitivity is an essential skill not only in dentistry, but in every profession. As a result, every profession regardless of his or her field of specialization must be aware of the cultural factors that may or may not affect other people. At a tender age, I discovered that cross-cultural competence requires one to conduct an in-depth research in order to have an informed view and a better understanding of other cultures. This discovery has helped me to conduct research on different cultures, especially those cultures that I am likely to interact with in my profession.
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