Purnell’s Model for Cultural Competence

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One of the most famous cultural models aims to increase the general attitude to values related to different cultures. This theory is closely linked to the healthcare industry as it evaluates various inner conditions of the human body and psychological aspects of the personality. Twelve main concepts create the cultural basis for different nationalities and support them from the medical perspective (Purnell, 2020a). This essay will present all aspects of the model by providing valuable examples from personal experience.

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The structure of the cultural model might seem complicated at first sight. However, it is important to spend more time on small details of the diagram to relate all the concepts to real life. The theory covers many parts of existence: personality, family, community, and global society (Purnell, 2020b). In my opinion, communication is one of the key factors of the concept, which is strongly related to every person’s life. Surrounding people may influence happiness, and it is crucial to make eye contact and find people who will not harm an individual’s general condition.

Family participation also plays a significant part in human formation as parents usually teach their children to survive in harsh conditions and be prepared for different life difficulties. For instance, I have experienced discrimination because of my nationality, and my parents became the single source of support in this situation. The same problem might arise at the workplace, and the model focuses on equality in this sphere to decrease misunderstandings between workers and managers in the workforce. All discrimination aspects are described in the area of the model called biocultural ecology. Skin color raises many negative thoughts even these days. It is important to understand that people have different genetics and should not be judged for the physiological difference that does not affect their inner condition. Due to the fact that some people experience discrimination, many Hispanic people that I know are suffering from alcoholism or tobacco addiction.

Even though it has a negative influence on me, I am trying to step out of these stereotypes. By avoiding stereotypes, I am trying to pay attention to other crucial parts of Purnell’s model. I believe that people from different cultures and backgrounds should deeply evaluate their heritage and transfer it to the next generation. This aspect of the theory is responsible for education and self-improvement, which significantly affect the future of modern society.

We should stay conscious about community health, and the theory provides people with several parts that should be taken into consideration. For example, by volunteering in healthcare programs, people can increase their practical skills and improve the medical system in the culture. I constantly participate in various practices like meditations, blood testing, and psychological meetings. This experience may help individuals to increase their spirituality and become closer to their nationality, religion, and specific culture.

Diverse practices and communications can help find the meaning of life, become happier, and understand the circulation of life and why it is important. In this case, the nutrition part of the theory becomes clearer as people realize the connection between consumed food and their health. It is also closely linked to pregnancy which helps to continue human existence and protect the earth’s future. The last part of the theory is death which is not correlated with happiness but stays crucial in human life. People suggest various theories about death, which motivates individuals to move forward in their knowledge.


Purnell, L. D. (2020a). Organizational Cultural Competence. Textbook for Transcultural Health Care: A Population Approach, 81-100.

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Purnell, L. D. (2020b). The Purnell Model and Theory for Cultural Competence. Textbook for Transcultural Health Care: A Population Approach, 19-59.