Changes in Student Nurses' Cultural Humility Through a Cultural Immersion Experience

Tuesday, 31 October 2017: 9:20 AM

Shellye A. Vardaman, PhD
Kelly S. Johnson, DNP
School of Nursing, Troy University, Troy, AL, USA

Today’s nurses are tasked with caring for culturally diverse patients. Therefore, it is imperative that nurses possess cultural humility. Cultural humility is a lifelong process that involves openness, self-awareness, and humbleness (Foronda, Baptiste, Reinholdt & Ousman, 2016). A 15-day cultural immersion experience to China was conducted with ten undergraduate baccalaureate nursing students from a regional four-year university in the southeast United States. The majority of the nursing students who participated in the cultural immersion experience were from rural areas in the South. For some of the students, this experience was their first flight. Students who attended the cultural immersion experience were enrolled in a study abroad clinical course.

Students were asked to complete pre- and post-immersion open-ended questions that relate to their self-awareness of the Chinese culture. Additionally, students kept daily journals during the immersion experience and presented PowerPoint presentations on specific topics related to the experience. During the experience, students had the opportunity to interact with college students from several universities in China. Additionally, tours were given of both traditional Chinese medicine facilities and Western hospitals. Each student was provided the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a Chinese physician and receive diagnostic results. Students attended classes in Chinese culture, language, and the arts. Students, also, toured various temples and famous historical landmarks. A round-table discussion was facilitated by interpreters between the US nursing students, Chinese nurses, and Chinese nursing students. Prior to the immersion experience, students researched some of China’s history such as Tiananmen Square and the incidences that occurred there. This allowed them the opportunity to understand what Americans know about specific incidences in Chinese history and then compare to the understanding of those in China.

While other data were collected during the immersion experience, the focus of this presentation will be the qualitative data analyzed from the self-awareness questions. The nine self-awareness questions were based on The Purnell Model for Cultural Competence (Purnell, 2014). Data will be discussed which illustrate the self-awareness component of cultural humility. Literature pertaining to cultural immersion and study abroad experiences will be discussed. The results from this study will be compared and contrasted with others. The results show that a short-term cultural immersion experience is capable of increasing cultural humility in undergraduate nursing students.