Improving cultural competencies and student confidence in patient management through culture-focused, blended learning modules

Friday, April 24, 2015
Key Ballroom 11-12 (Hilton Baltimore)
Greg Brooks, DNP, APRN-CNP, FNP and Gina Crawford, MS, APRN-CNP, FNP, Nursing, Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma City, OK
The NONPF Domains and Competencies calls for nurse practitioners to incorporate a patient’s cultural preferences, values and beliefs into a person’s health care plans.  In yearly self-evaluation surveys administered by faculty, students continually rated themselves low in this competency.   Despite a foundational education of culture and transcultural healthcare, students struggled with understanding working definitions of culture, culture assessment, and applying culture-specific interventions. 

 In order to help FNP students cultivate patient-centered care that included a meaningful assessment of a patient’s culture, an application-focused learning module was developed for utilization throughout their education and to serve as a building block for future practice.  This culture module utilized several blended learning technologies for enhancing student understanding, including Camtasia-based presentations on culture models and questioning, videos addressing cultural variations of practice guidelines, and case-studies to allow students to contemplate decisions based on a patient’s beliefs and values. Students learned about culture assessment models and how to apply them at a patient and community level. Students were educated on how to assess cultural decision-making practices, family beliefs, patient values, individual healthcare practices and how to incorporate gained knowledge into clinical practice guidelines. This culture module was developed and utilized with students being precepted in private and free clinics.  This module has been applied in one clinical course, and is being modified to address multiple patient populations.  Students who utilized this module during their clinical course reported a greater understanding of culture and had greater confidence in their assessment and management skills.  Concurrently, students rated themselves higher in competencies associated with culture. 

Using similar blended learning modules in FNP education programs, faculty can increase student’s understanding of culture and individual patient assessment. By expanding their knowledge of culture and how to accurately assess a patient’s culture, students demonstrated more personalized care.  By developing these skills in the educational setting, future nurse practitioners will be able to personalize care of future patients, feel more confident in addressing health care needs of other cultures, and diminish the number of uncontrolled disease processes demonstrated in patients with different values and beliefs.