I spoke to a class of graduate nursing students yesterday in the city of Worcester. The topic was on cultural competency and health care — a topic I’ve spoken on for many years. They were an amazing group of students; smart, engaged, thoughtful, and diverse.
When I began to do this work around 13 years ago I knew it all. I spoke with confidence and flair, I had all the ‘best’ examples and brought people into the conversation in a new way. But this work is like living cross-culturally; the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know. The more you experience, the less you are sure of any absolutes. So now, I’m much less sure of outcomes, yet much more committed to the process.
If you define cultural competency at its most basic level, it is about learning to communicate and function effectively across cultural barriers, cultural…
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