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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 303

Communicating Across Cultures: Suggested Teaching Strategies

1 University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing, Chicago, Illinois, USA
2 DePaul University College of Nursing, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Correspondence Address:
L Slimmer
845 S. Damen (MC 802), Chicago, IL 60612
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 20029763

Context: Quality healthcare for diverse populations requires providers that understand the impact of culture on health and health seeking behaviors. Recruiting individuals from diverse cultures into healthcare professions facilitates this understanding. Although nursing education programs have been successful in recruiting such individuals, they often experience difficulties communicating with faculty and patients, which contributes to attrition from their first clinical course. Communicating Across Cultures is an innovative learning experience at our school to facilitate achievement of clinical competencies in the first nursing course. The purpose of this paper is to describe the teaching strategies used in this course that have increased achievement of clinical competencies and decreased the attrition rate of students from diverse cultures at our school. Suggested Teaching Strategies: First, assessing the students' specific communication difficulties guides what learning objectives and content are appropriate. Second, an immersion experience immediately before students begin their first clinical course provides experiential learning suited to acquiring new communication styles. Third, the experience and subsequent reinforcement are facilitated by faculty with expertise in teaching communication skills and with guiding the learning experiences of students from diverse cultures. Fourth, delineation of eligibility criteria allows students to self-identify their need to participate. Finally, an evaluation plan provides information to help make decisions about subsequent implementation of the learning experience.

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