Tuesday, November 6, 2007

This presentation is part of : Cultural Competencies in Healthcare Diversity
Culturally Responsive Therapeutic Relationships: A Practice Development Initiative
Rani Hajela Srivastava, RN, MScN, Nursing Practice & Professional Services, Centre for Addiction & Mental Health, Toronto, ON, Canada, Ann Pottinger, RN, MN, Nursing Practice and Professional Services, Centre for Addiction & Mental Health, Toronto, ON, Canada, and Felix P. Münger, MES, (c), Nursing Practice and Professional Services, Centre for Addiction & Mental Heatlh, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Learning Objective #1: Describe the characteristics of a culturally responsive therapeutic relationship
Learning Objective #2: Examine strategies for practice development that facilitate moving from awareness to application of cultural awareness and understanding

Therapeutic relationships are at the heart of nursing practice, regardless of specialty or practice area. With increasing cultural diversity in society, nurses are faced with complex challenges in developing therapeutic relationships with clients who are culturally different and whose values and priorities conflict with those of the nurse. Although the need for culturally sensitive and culturally appropriate health care has long been recognized in Western societies, attainment of such a goal remains elusive. In this paper we will share our experience with the Culturally Responsive Therapeutic Relationships (CRTR) initiative, a one-year collaborative venture between a hospital and a school of nursing, designed to develop clinical expertise in culturally responsive therapeutic relationships in a group of current and future nurses. A learning/practice framework, based on best practice guidelines, was used to translate the vision of cultural competence into practice. The presentation will include an overview of the project and its four main knowledge integration methods: development of integrated competencies, systematic education that provides content while promoting reflection, clinical application, and web-based journaling to document and manage the practice change. Our experience has implications for fostering cultural competence, reflective practice, and the value of best practice guidelines in practice development. This presentation will share findings from the project and examine implications for nursing knowledge development. Key strategies included creation of safe spaces for dialogue, videos showing effective and ineffective approaches, and journaling. Through the project, participants were able to not only examine the impact of cultural diversity on their clients, but also on themselves. Although staff struggled with journaling, they supported the need for reflecting in this manner to examine their therapeutic relationships with respect to cultural responsiveness.