How to Find Healthcare Diversity Curriculum for CTE Courses Blog Feature
Bri Stauffer

By: Bri Stauffer on July 5th, 2016

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How to Find Healthcare Diversity Curriculum for CTE Courses

Diversity in Health Care | Health Science

At Applied Educational Systems, we work with thousands of CTE health science instructors across the United States. In working with these educators, we have heard comments such as “I struggle to confidently teach students about healthcare diversity.” and “Do you have content about cultural diversity in healthcare?

After hearing comments like this from health science teachers, our Development Team decided to create a module to help them teach this important topic, called “Cultural, Social and Ethnic Diversity.”

The Difficulty of Teaching About Diversity in the Healthcare Workplace

In an interview between Sarah Layton and Kristin Savko, one of our Instructional Designers, Sarah asked why Applied Educational Systems decided to add a healthcare diversity module to our health science curriculum. In response, Kristin said:

“We have a lot of teachers asking if we had anything, any material that covered these topics. I think it’s a really important topic right now. There’s a lot of buzz about words like health literacy and cultural competencey and it’s important that teachers teach these topics; however, I think they’re a little difficult to teach in the classroom.

There’s a lot of complications about religion and culture that, unless you really sit and do the research, I think it would be difficult to get up there and give a lecture and feel confident about the information that you’ve given your students.”

This insight from Kristin directly relates to one health science instructor's message to AES before the Diversity Module was available:

“I’d like to know if there are any modules on diversity. In healthcare, we have to be sure our students know about cultural diversity and how it relates to patient care.”

The challenge of teaching students about healthcare diversity

A Review of the Curriculum for Culture and Diversity in Healthcare

So how can health science teachers use HealthCenter21 to teach their students about diversity in healthcare? There are four lessons in the Cultural, Social & Ethnic Diversity module. You can watch the short interview between Sarah and Kristin (mentioned above), or read the information below:

http://aeseducation.wistia.com/medias/two6o4t1h1?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=450

Lesson 1: A Diverse Nation

Students start out in the first lesson by defining and recognizing what the scale of diversity is in the U.S. They learn why it’s important to understand diversity and talk about the difference between generalizations and stereotypes, because stereotypes are harmful, but generalizations are the type of information that we can use to talk about culture and religion, and social and ethnic diversity.

Lesson 2: Effects on Healthcare

After the introduction to diversity, students go into lesson two, where they focus on:

  • What does diversity mean for healthcare?
  • How do culture and religion specifically impact healthcare?

This includes topics such as whether a patient can have a blood transfusion, or if there are certain death rights that have to be taken into account.

Lesson 3: Health Disparities and Health EquityLessons for Diversity in Healthcare

Lesson 3 focuses on important vocabulary related to healthcare diversity. These include topics such as: health disparities, health inequities, health literacy, cultural competency, and linguistic competency.

This lesson also covers why it is important for healthcare workers to address and understand the content.

Lesson 4: Customer Service

In the final lesson, students look at customer service and the importance of customer service in healthcare. Then they identify how all of the sensitive topics regarding cultural, social, and ethnic diversity tie into customer service.

Activities to Teach Students About Healthcare Diversity

Along with the e-learning lessons, students can complete four different classroom activities related to healthcare diversity. These are segmented into 3 types of activities, based on when they are most appropriate to use with the Cultural, Social and Ethnic Diversity module.

Explore: Diversity Comfort Level

In the first activity, students are introduced to the breadth of diversity. They are also encouraged to see their personal connection with the topic. The activity introduces the importance of thinking about diversity in healthcare and makes students aware of why understanding diversity is important.

Students will fill out activity sheets to figure out what their comfort level is with different patients. It includes questions such as: Do you feel like you’re affected by what a patient’s religion is?

The survey is for self-reflection and is not collected by the teacher. There are additional sheets that can be collected for this activity.

This activity is best presented as an introduction to the class before students begin the lessons.

Reflection: Diversity ScenariosCurriculum to teach about cultural diversity issue in healthcare

Students can work on this activity after they have gone through the four lessons. In this activity, students review scenarios related to the cultural, social, and ethnic diversity of patients in healthcare.

Each scenario has discussion points that students can use to reinforce their knowledge of respectful and empathetic treatment.

Students should complete this activity in groups or as a class.

Reinforcement: Culture Guide Research

For this project, students read information on one of five countries: China, Laos, Mexico, Somalia, or Vietnam. After reading the culture guide, students answer questions about how they think those cultures and people of those cultures would feel about different healthcare practices.

Reinforcement: Demographics Research

The final project will get students thinking about the relationship between patient diversity and healthcare. Students research the demographics of a location, such as their local area. They will then use the demographic information to determine the cultural diversity of that area.

After looking at the data, students will predict potential areas of concern and suggest a plan of action to address the diversity.

Teaching About Patient Diversity Made Easy!

The thought of teaching your students about how different cultures and religions impact healthcare can be daunting. Especially if you need to meet a specific course or state standard related to healthcare diversity.

Because you want to focus on topics you know and are passionate about, use the Cultural, Social and Ethnic Diversity module from HealthCenter21 to help cover this topic with confidence.

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About Bri Stauffer

Bri writes content to help teachers and students succeed in the classroom. In addition, she runs the AES Educator Community group to help teachers collaborate from across the country.

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