Incorporating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into Nursing Practice

By Jo-Anne Senneff, MSN, RN, CCRN-K

Here at Houston Methodist Hospital, it is our mission to provide high-quality, cost-effective health care to our community and beyond. As a nationally recognized organization with patients from all over the world, it is more important than ever that our nursing practice reflects our values and mission.
Our ICARE values are the foundation of providing competent nursing care to meet the needs of the many different populations that we serve. It is easy to see our diverse population just walking down the hospital hallway with patients and staff of different races, genders, religions, sexual orientations, ethnicities, nationalities, socioeconomic statuses, languages, physical abilities, ages, religious commitments, political perspectives and more.
Nursing staff must identify vulnerable patient populations, such as minors, minorities, mentally incompetent, physically disabled and economically or educationally disadvantaged. The protection of these patients who are susceptible to social, economic, legal, psychological and physical harm is the responsibility of the healthcare team. Protection of human rights, respect, beneficence, justice and above all else “do no harm” are core nursing principles practiced at Houston Methodist Hospital, and it is essential to advocate for patients who are especially vulnerable and incapable of protecting their interests.
Thankfully, just as our patients are diverse, so is our nursing staff. With such a diverse workforce, the standards of practice and care delivered will incorporate a variety of ideas and perspectives inclusive of the various cultures within the community; therefore, ensuring the needs of our patients are addressed.
We are also fortunate to have a plethora of resources available to us to help ensure that our patient care and employee wellbeing are taken care of. A few of these resources are listed below.
The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion can be reached at theofficeofdei@houstonmethodist.org for any issues, questions, or concerns.
There are Employee Resource Groups (ERG) available for minority groups with many more being created. If you would like more information about Employee Resource Groups, you can text ERG at 45991.
We have policies and procedures that speak to patients’ rights and care such as:
  • System_PCPS049 Patients’ Rights and Responsibilities
  • System_PCPS137 Care of the Transgender Patient
There are also many different language assistance options available for communicating with your patients including:
  • Using the video remote interpretation device (VRI)
  • Using over the phone interpretation option (OPI)
    • Please call 855-856-3219 or Ext 81400 from your landline phone to request an OPI
  • In-person sign language interpretation (ASL & CDI)
    • You can request an American Sign Language Interpreter or a Certified Deaf
    • Please call Case Management and Social Work department for in-person ASL & CDI requests at 713-441-3116.
  • In-person language interpretations
    • Please call Global Patient Services at 713-441-2340 or email the Interpreter team at HMGInterpreter@houstonmethodist.org
To meet the needs of the various religious groups that patients may be most comfortable with, the Spiritual Care and Education department can also be contacted at 713-441-2381 during regular business hours and after hours at 713-441-2201.
Hopefully, it is easy to see that we have many resources available, which allow us to fulfill the mission of the hospital to provide high-quality, cost-effective health care to our community and beyond. These resources and many more ensure that every diverse individual has equitable and inclusive care here at Houston Methodist Hospital.
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