Tuesday, November 6, 2007

This presentation is part of : Nursing Education Perspectives
Teaching Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing in China
Rebecca Bouterie Harmon, PhD, APRN, BC, School of Nursing, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA
Learning Objective #1: The participant will examine personal beliefs related to the dissemination of western nursing practices and standards to developing countries.
Learning Objective #2: The participant will recognize at least two reasons to establish mutually agreed upon objectives before agreeing to an international educational experience.

According to the World Health Organization’s Health Policy Resource Book, mental disorders account for a high proportion of disability worldwide and this burden is predicted to grow significantly in the coming years. This is especially true in developing countries such as China where, for historical social, political, and economic reasons, Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing (PMH) has not been an integral part of nursing curricula. As the number of persons in China in need of mental health services increases, the demand for mental health nurses is increasing, yet China lacks experienced PMH nursing instructors. To meet this need one Chinese nursing program invited an experienced “Western” professor to teach PMH nursing to third year baccalaureate students. Although there was much enthusiasm on both sides, the educational outcomes were less than ideal due to the violation of a few basic educational principles, such as the lack of a needs assessment, lack of collaboration or consultation with faculty, and the lack of awareness of cultural norms. The anticipated goal of exploring local practices in order to teach culturally competent care was not achieved while the dominant (western) approach was reinforced. This presentation will invite participants to dialogue about the meaning of culturally competent care, whether this care can be exported to nonwestern settings, and how to identify and share the best care practices.