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From Book to Practice: Integrating Cultural Competency Education Across the Curriculum

Helping students develop a personal and clinical paradigm of caring and trustworthiness that meets the needs of patients and facilitates patient compliance is important. Likewise facilitating student self-discovery of advantages, disadvantages and privileges that may hinder quality health care delivery is also important. As such, teaching students to embrace cultural competence as an integral part of their training will enable them to be more sensitive to others' cultural needs and thus better prepared to work within diverse settings and with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.1 In fact, the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care (CLAS Standards) indicate that educators should incorporate cultural and linguistic competence into their curricula and to raise awareness about the impact of culture and language on health care delivery.2(p. 4) In response, when the National Athletic Trainers Association revised its educational competencies for entry-level athletic trainers they included cultural competencean area that had lacked strong teachingas a professional behavior.3,4 With new competencies come the challenges of how to teach new material and where to place the material in the curriculum. The purpose of this presentation is to assess educator readiness to teach cultural competence and provide strategies for integrating cultural competency education across the curriculum, moving from book to practice.

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