JOURNAL ARTICLE

Interdisciplinary: Cultural competency and culturally congruent education for millennials in health professions

Souzan Hawala-Druy, Mary H Hill
Nurse Education Today 2012, 32 (7): 772-8
22677114
The increasingly diverse multicultural and multigenerational student population in the United States requires that educators at all levels develop cultural knowledge, awareness, and sensitivity to help diverse learners fulfill their potential and to avoid cultural misunderstandings that can become obstacles or barriers to learning. The purpose of this study was to design and implement eclectic, creative, evidence-based interdisciplinary educational activities, along with culturally congruent teaching strategies, within a semester-long university course that promoted positive and culturally competent learning outcomes for culturally diverse, largely millennial students. The interdisciplinary course would prepare health professional students with the requisite knowledge and skills, through transformative learning that produces change agents, to provide culturally congruent and quality team-based care to diverse populations. This was a qualitative and quantitative study, which measured students' level of cultural awareness, competence, and proficiency pre and post the educational intervention. Instruments used for data collection included the Inventory for Assessing The Process of Cultural Competence-Student Version (IAPCC-SV) by Campinha-Bacote, course evaluations, students' feedback, and portfolio reflections. The study was conducted at a private academic institution located in the Mid-Atlantic region and the sample population included inter-professional students (N=106) from various health professions including nursing, pharmacy, and allied health sciences. Results from the pre- and post-test IAPCC-SV survey revealed that mean scores increased significantly from pre-test (60.8) to post-test (70.6). Thus, students' levels of cultural competency (awareness, knowledge, skills, desire, encounter) improved post-educational intervention, indicating that the teaching methods used in the course might be applied on a larger scale across the university system to cater to the nation's increasingly multi-cultural population.

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