Presentation Title

PROMOTING CULTURAL COMPETENCY IN PHYSICAL AND OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY STUDENTS THROUGH A COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITY BASED SERVICE LEARNING ACTIVITY

Location

Atrium

Format

Event

Start Date

14-2-2014 12:00 AM

Abstract

Objective. The purpose of this activity is to promote cultural competency in physical and occupational therapy students through a community based collaborative service learning activity that also enhances understanding of the roles of the respective disciplines as they provide health screens to an underserved population. This enables students from both disciplines to practice clinical skills in field conditions, fostering collaboration and mutual respect for strategies utilized in screening adult and pediatric participants that are primarily African American and Caribbean Black. Background. As an activity that is integrated into cultural competency curriculum for physical and occupational therapy students, the screenings seek to enhance student understanding of the impact of cultural diversity on access to, and delivery of health care as well as to enable students to identify how physical and occupational therapy clinicians can actively promote change related to cultural diversity issues. The students volunteer for the Sistrunk Festival with the intent of improving their cultural competence abilities through completing patient screenings. Methods. Health screening by the physical and occupational therapy academic programs are provided to those attending a festival honoring James Sistrunk, the first African-American physician in the greater Fort Lauderdale community. Screens are conducted by physical (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) students, and supervised by faculty in an outdoor pavilion adjacent to festival activities. Screens include: blood pressure and posture (PT) and pediatric development (OT). Health and wellness educational materials are distributed, with referrals for follow up as indicated. Following the activity, PT and OT students reflect on their experience and submit a journal/assignment in which they consider how the experience enhanced their understanding of the population served, including healthcare practices and beliefs, and how this activity promotes their understanding of diverse populations. Results. This activity has been conducted for the past 6 years in partnership with Sistrunk Festival community organizers. It has been seen as a benefit to the community as well as to the students participating by promoting cultural competency and enhancing interdisciplinary collaboration. On average, 50-60 participants/year are screened, with abnormal findings generally noted in five to six of those screened, who are then referred for follow-up. Additionally, student journals and reflective papers note challenges presented to think outside the box when performing in a non-structured laboratory environment. Perhaps, most importantly, students perceive enhanced skills relied on to communicate, inform and provide a service to a population that often displays a belief system different from their own concerning health and wellness. Conclusion. This community partnership activity provides an opportunity for students to collaborate across disciplines through a mutual commitment to serving the needs of an underserved population, while promoting greater awareness of the challenges of working in a non-laboratory or clinical setting. The outcomes support the APTA (American Physical Therapy Association Committee on Cultural Competence, 2008) Blueprint for Teaching Cultural Competency in Physical Therapy Education commitment to develop cultural competence in the PT profession, as well as the AOTA Code of Ethics supporting beneficence and social justice (AOTA, 2010; American Occupational Therapy Association Advisory Opinion for the Ethics Commission, 2011). Grants. N/A

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Feb 14th, 12:00 AM

PROMOTING CULTURAL COMPETENCY IN PHYSICAL AND OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY STUDENTS THROUGH A COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITY BASED SERVICE LEARNING ACTIVITY

Atrium

Objective. The purpose of this activity is to promote cultural competency in physical and occupational therapy students through a community based collaborative service learning activity that also enhances understanding of the roles of the respective disciplines as they provide health screens to an underserved population. This enables students from both disciplines to practice clinical skills in field conditions, fostering collaboration and mutual respect for strategies utilized in screening adult and pediatric participants that are primarily African American and Caribbean Black. Background. As an activity that is integrated into cultural competency curriculum for physical and occupational therapy students, the screenings seek to enhance student understanding of the impact of cultural diversity on access to, and delivery of health care as well as to enable students to identify how physical and occupational therapy clinicians can actively promote change related to cultural diversity issues. The students volunteer for the Sistrunk Festival with the intent of improving their cultural competence abilities through completing patient screenings. Methods. Health screening by the physical and occupational therapy academic programs are provided to those attending a festival honoring James Sistrunk, the first African-American physician in the greater Fort Lauderdale community. Screens are conducted by physical (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) students, and supervised by faculty in an outdoor pavilion adjacent to festival activities. Screens include: blood pressure and posture (PT) and pediatric development (OT). Health and wellness educational materials are distributed, with referrals for follow up as indicated. Following the activity, PT and OT students reflect on their experience and submit a journal/assignment in which they consider how the experience enhanced their understanding of the population served, including healthcare practices and beliefs, and how this activity promotes their understanding of diverse populations. Results. This activity has been conducted for the past 6 years in partnership with Sistrunk Festival community organizers. It has been seen as a benefit to the community as well as to the students participating by promoting cultural competency and enhancing interdisciplinary collaboration. On average, 50-60 participants/year are screened, with abnormal findings generally noted in five to six of those screened, who are then referred for follow-up. Additionally, student journals and reflective papers note challenges presented to think outside the box when performing in a non-structured laboratory environment. Perhaps, most importantly, students perceive enhanced skills relied on to communicate, inform and provide a service to a population that often displays a belief system different from their own concerning health and wellness. Conclusion. This community partnership activity provides an opportunity for students to collaborate across disciplines through a mutual commitment to serving the needs of an underserved population, while promoting greater awareness of the challenges of working in a non-laboratory or clinical setting. The outcomes support the APTA (American Physical Therapy Association Committee on Cultural Competence, 2008) Blueprint for Teaching Cultural Competency in Physical Therapy Education commitment to develop cultural competence in the PT profession, as well as the AOTA Code of Ethics supporting beneficence and social justice (AOTA, 2010; American Occupational Therapy Association Advisory Opinion for the Ethics Commission, 2011). Grants. N/A