Lessons in Multicultural Healthcare

Nursingspanish.jpgBismarck State College nursing faculty say that a challenge they see in healthcare today is the potential barriers that can occur when a nurse isn't culturally competent.

"They're seeing more and more of this in practice, where they're walking into a room and the patient doesn't speak English," said Annie Paulson, BSC associate professor of nursing.

Unsure of how to implement Spanish into their weekly mannequin-based simulations, Paulson enlisted the help of BSC Associate Professor of Spanish, Ryan Pitcher, and his dual-language learners.

In a hospital room lab on the BSC Allied Health campus, two nursing students were paired with two Spanish students. The scenario plays out with the nursing students providing nursing care and finding ways to safely communicate, while the Spanish students perfect their foreign language skills by communicating what ails them.

Pitcher and nursing faculty stood on the other side of a two-way mirror and watched, using iPads to listen and communicate with the students in the other room.

When all was said and done, 18 nursing and 12 Spanish students rotated through the simulation and met up with faculty for a debriefing afterward to evaluate the experience.

"We've seen our testing success rates and our retention rates increase because of the use of simulations," says Paulson.