What is the Impact on Cultural Competence in Both Nursing and Pharmacy Students ater an Interdisciplinary Immersion Experience in a Third World Country?

Monday, 22 July 2013

Shannon L. McCrory, DHEd, RN, PNP
School of Nursing, D'Youville College, Buffalo, NY
Patricia J. Pitts, PharmD, RPh
School of Pharmacy, D'Youville College, Buffalo, NY

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to identify the need for increased cultural competence in both nursing and pharmacy students

Learning Objective 2: the learner will be able to describe the impact of an interdisciplinary immersion experience on cultural competence of select nursing and pharmacy students

Purpose:  The world is becoming increasingly small and as providers of healthcare nurses and the healthcare team must be prepared for a continued melding of cultures.  The focus on global healthcare is appropriately increasing and the need to work as team with other disciplines to provide the best care is essential. In today’s workplace, cultural awareness and cultural competence in nursing is critical to maintaining high practice standards.  While limited cultural awareness can be taught, competence can be infinitely increased by immersion in a culture other than one’s own.  Caring for patients in a third world country, relying on basic nursing skills while partnering with pharmacy students is a massive undertaking for any student.  Their experiences in the service learning and interdisciplinary arena as well as researching impact on cultural competence can benefit educators in moving curriculum forward with emphasis on the global community, interdisciplinary clinical work and cultural competence.

Methods: A small group of baccalaureate nursing students and pharmacy students in a small college in Buffalo, NY, USA were selected to participate in a one week medical relief trip to the Haiti.  The group was pre/post tested using “Inventory for assessing the Process of Cultural Competence Among Healthcare Professionals-Student Version.” They were required to complete reflective journaling exercises, participate in group discussions and their experiences were compiled and responses analyzed/compared.

Results: At the time of this writing, analysis has not been completed.  However, researchers anticipate significant results from this study to be available for presentation at the 24th Annual Nursing Research Congress 2013

Conclusion: Following completion of  research statistics, the authors will identify future implications for nursing education and the nursing profession as well as interdisciplinary education and global health.  Researchers will include information that will look for innovations in student learning experience and integrating service learning into curriculum along with cultural competence.