On December 3, 2014, more than 100 posters designed by pre-nursing students from the UWP College of Natural and Health Sciences were displayed in Wyllie Hall. Each of the colorfully and carefully crafted posters which filled Main Place highlighted the beliefs, values, cultural nuances, and common health concerns of diverse population groups. Included were posters describing the demographics, family structure, communication patterns, diet/nutrition, health promotion practices and high risk behaviors commonly observed among Hispanic, African American, Hmong, Amish, Lithuanian, Brazilian, Italian and other racial/ethnic population groups. Also presented were posters highlighting background and cultural nuances of military, deaf, elderly, and intellectually challenged and disabled populations.
During this past semester, I along with other students enrolled at UWP in Cultural Diversity in Health Care (NURS 101), gained a broader base of knowledge of several ethnic, racial, cultural, and religious groups through focused readings, guest speakers, video presentations, and reflective assignments. The poster presentation and gallery walk, which were part of the capstone assignment in the course, challenged us to delve even further into our research and apply concepts of culture to other groups. Walking through the poster session, reading the briefs, and listening to the presentations of our peers helped us and other attendees gain a greater insight into each cultural group that was showcased. While it was a lot of work, we learned a lot!
During the course of the semester we learned first and foremost that culture influences each and every decision we make throughout our day. Culture is unspoken, yet it defines our social structure, social norms, communication style, values, and beliefs. Through research, and extensive help from our professor, Dr. Sandra Millon Underwood, we expanded our knowledge and understanding of many unspoken cultural concepts that health care providers may never know. We now better understand the relevance of cultural competence to the administration of safe and effective health care and beyond.
A big thanks to the Chancellor, Provost, Dean, faculty, staff, students, UWP guests, and others who shared in this event. The poster presentation and gallery walk is presented each Fall in Wyllie Hall a week before finals. Please join Dr. Underwood and others for this insightful event in the coming Fall of 2015.
Article by Greta Sedeikaite – UW Parkside, College of Natural and Health Sciences, Pre-Nursing Student