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Reducing Health Care Disparities: Web-based Video Tutorials

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School of Nursing faculty, Rose E. Constantino, Lisa Bernardo, Mary Beth Happ and Yookyung Kim will use their ACIE grant to develop Reducing Health Care Disparities by Teaching Culturally Competent Nursing Care through Web-based Video Tutorials. The project will consist of video vignettes of nurses encountering and addressing sensitive diversity issues that surface in interactions with patients and/or with coworkers. The videos will be made available to all faculty from the School of Nursing as an instructional resource for nursing students. The videos will be accompanied with instructional materials to promote discussion, practice, feedback and reflection among students on cultural diversity within the field of nursing.

Constantino finds that before attending nursing school, students often have not been exposed to any appreciable degree of diversity—ethnic, religious, economic, cultural, or in sexual orientation—in their communities or schools. In addition, they generally are exposed to minimal diversity within the student and faculty population here at Pitt. Constantino’s goal is to address this unfamiliarity by introducing the students to the kinds of diverse populations and situations that they will inevitably encounter in their professional roles; to prepare them to recognize their own and others’ misconceptions and unfounded assumptions; and to develop the knowledge, sensitivity and skills to competently and sensitively work with a diverse population of patients and health care professionals.

Videos will depict medical professionals encountering patients representing dissimilar ethnic, religious, cultural, economic, or sexual orientation. Each video will present two scenarios—one with an inappropriate professional response to the situation and one with an appropriate response. Following viewing, a faculty facilitator, using questions designed for that particular video, will lead a discussion. Ultimately, students will be tested on each video.

Constantino believes that visual illustrations of culturally disparate social exchanges will affectively sensitize and cognitively inform students to recognize, and avoid, the subtle, sometimes unconscious, aspects of stereotyping, discrimination and, the personally disparaging and professionally defeating results for both the health care personnel and the patients. The scenarios illustrate the danger of providing nursing care if implementation is culturally insensitive; and they further illustrate the possibility of compromised nursing judgments resulting from prejudicial assumptions. The instructional videos will be made available to all nursing faculty on DVDs.


OCTOBER 2003

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