Download PDF version By: Marcia Carteret, M.Ed – Senior Instructor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine Demographic trends across the United States indicate a growing need for better cross-cultural communication skills among healthcare professionals. This short guide will introduce key ideas and concepts for interacting with patients and their families from diverse cultural and language backgrounds. Demographic Trends Driving the Need for Enhanced Communication Skills: It is projected that 72% of the U.S. population growth over the next 20 years will come from immigrants or the children of immigrants. By the year 2050, the U.S. population will be 438 million, up from 296 million in 2005. Nearly 82% of the increase will be due to immigrants and their U.S. born children. Nearly one in five Americans (19%) will be an immigrant in 2050, compared with one in eight (12%) in 2005. The Latino population, already the nation’s largest minority group, will triple in size and account for most of the nation’s population growth between 2005 and 2050. Latinos will make up 29% of the U.S. population by the year 2050. All these assumptions are built on recent trends. It is important to note that these trends can…

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