Diversity: Cultural Competence


1 CE Hours


Massage therapists are increasingly working in various medical settings - physician's offices, long term care facilities, hospitals - and the population of the United States continues to become more ethnically diverse. As a result, it is important that as health care providers working as part of a multi-disciplinary team we become more familiar with the cultural differences of our clients to become more sensitive to their perspective so that we may provide the best care. Additionally, it is important that we impart sensitivity to other cultures, and to our support staff, so that each person we are in contact with is treated with consideration.

Through this course you will:

  • define important concepts including race, ethnicity, culture, health literacy and health disparities.
  • review the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care.
  • determine what cultural competence means, how one becomes culturally competent, and distinguish between cultural sensitivity and cultural competence.
  • differentiate between stereotypes and generalizations.
  • review how culture and socioeconomic status affect quality of health care.
  • discover strategies for establishing a more culturally sensitive environment.
  • learn differences in cultural behavior.
  • examine ways to avoid pitfalls when working with various clients from diverse cultures.

Featured Reviews

Great text manual! The information covered is thorough and offers information specific to massage therapy and excellent resources to help massage therapists with Diversity issues. Well Done!

- L. Lowry, LMT

The material was both enjoyable and useful. I can see applying it in my practice, but also in everyday interactions.

- S. Stevens, LMT

Opened my eyes to the struggles others might have trying to get a simple massage.

- L. Hill, LMT

I found the material to be clear and easy to understand. I liked the "boxes" with additional information about different cultures. This course brought up some interesting points for me to be aware of and to examine in myself.

- L. Calzarette, LMT

I really liked the resources listing for further study. Those resources are important. Reading this made me realize there's a lot to consider, a lot to learn!

- K. Krzyzewski, LMT

I would recommend this class to my co-workers.

- A. Thacker, LMT

Well presented material in a concise, easy to understand learning style. Makes practitioner stop and think about how they are interacting with clients.

- B. DeSutter, LMT

The staff at the Institute are always helpful and very knowledgeable.

- Marc Rubman, LMT, NCTMB

This course raised my awareness of cultural differences that affect quality of health care in a massage practice. There were several specific examples given that I will remember for the future. Living in such a diverse area as metropolitan DC, this course was essential.

- Barbara Thaler, LMT, NCTMB

This diversity course was useful and respectful without being condesending to the client or the practitioner's point of view.

- Leslie Knee, LMT, NCTMB, ABMP

The class was very informative and helpful.

- Anne J. Moore, LMT

Great course! Keep up the good work!

- Heather Thompson, LMT, NCTMB

Course was written well, provided good and useable information.

- Marjorie Rock, LMT, NCTMB, ABMP

Thank you for presenting the material in a way that is very useable.

- Robert True, LMT, NCTMB, ABMP

Concise course with pertinent information on cultural competence in a massage practice. Effective and easy way to complete the 1-hr. diversity requirement in your home.

- Elizabeth Palmieri, LMT

Thoughtful and wonderfully articulated--the ways we can be with others of different cultures and backgrounds!

- Lucy R. Hagan, LMT, NCTMB

The information was concise and informative. Easy to read.

- Yvette Jones, LMT

This course was straight foreword to complete. Will certainly be back!

- Gabriella Booth, LMT

With this being a new requirement this year, I loved the simplicity of this course! Great information and tools to use when dealing with language barriers and cultural differences :)

- Krystle-Dawn Covington, LMT

Lots of valuable information presented concisely.

- Aline Devreotes, LMT

Good course, most I knew as I work with many cultures, but I learned new info. It also reaffirmed that I am culturally sensitive and am doing all recommended suggestions/actions already.

- Karin E. Kimbrough, LMT

The information was current and very enlightening!

- Diana Freed, LMT, NCTMB

This was my first Diversity class and I found it opened my eyes to being more sensitive to my client's background and beliefs before starting any session. It makes me understand their subtle behaviors better now. Thank you.

- Robert Seymour, LMT, NCTMB

I was pleasantly surprised by this course. Very informative with excellent tips for use in my practice. Thank you!

- Sheila Adams

I really didn't want to take this course but I was mandated to do so. But I actually found it quite informative and I am glad that I took it.

- Patrick Mason

Very good 1 hour course.

- Jeff Grabelle, LMT, BCTMB

I enjoyed the course and learned quite a bit. Thank you for the interesting info and presentation.

- Wendy Child, LMT, BCTMB

It was very interesting and refreshed my mind

- Jennifer Meckelvaney, LMT

Very interesting info/material in this course!

- Serjio Gutierrez, LMT

great course information is very understandable and compatible to the test.

- Kimberly Booze, LMT

This course was very easy to understand. Great course content!

- Courtney Parham, RMT

Loved it. Easy to understand and great information

- Elambert Richardson, LMT

excellent, concise, easy to understand

- Rebecca Atwell, LMT

I hope to suggest this course as a requirement to all of the staff I work with as it is a simple, but incredibly beneficial, source of information.

- Danielle Byington, LMT

I really like this course because as a person/massage therapist, during your work shift you may be tired or stressed because you're running late, but this course reminds you to take a step back and remember that everyone is different and you need to be respectful of everyone's differences. If someone seems rude or "unemotional" you need to remember that it may be his/her cultural behavior and you shouldn't judge.

- Hannah Janyszek, RMT


  • Manual - 24 pages
  • Multiple-choice test - if you prefer to complete this program online please select the "Fully Online Materials and Test" option
  • Certificate upon completion - if you prefer to print your certificate at home instantly, please select the online option

Display Certificates suitable for framing are available for $10 in addition to the certificate included with your tuition. Click here to order a Display Certificate.


The Institute is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) as a continuing education Approved Provider. Approved Provider 049478-00.

Credits also accepted by the AMTA, ABMP and NAHA.

For information regarding your specific state massage license requirements and approvals, visit our Massage Therapy Continuing Education Requirements page by clicking here.

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