An evaluation of health literacy education: Effects on cultural competence, knowledge and attitudes of associate degree nursing students
Lisa M. Sullivan, RN
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Seson presented on Saturday, July 25, 2015:
Purpose: Health Literacy and Cultural Competence in healthcare are not new concepts, but they are now becoming a priority focus of major health organizations. Healthcare professionals realize that patient-centered care is dependent upon clear communication and understanding. Student nurses receive minimal education on Health Literacy and communication methods with Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients. This project focuses on the development of an educational program for second year Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) students in order to increase Cultural Competency and Health Literacy prior to entering the clinical area. Several learning objectives were devised for the outcomes of this project. Through education, students should show an increase in health literacy and cultural competence knowledge and skills. The objective of this project is to develop and evaluate student knowledge and attitudes of health literacy needed for working with LEP patients after participating in a health literacy educational program.
Methods: Ethical approval was obtained by the Capella University Research Ethics Board and the President of Vermont Technical College granted permission for project implementation. ADN students were recruited and provided informed consent to voluntarily participate in the project. Students received an assurance of confidentiality. Recruitment was done by distributing written information across campus. The educational program consists of three modules including learning of Health Literacy, patient assessment models, cultural differences in communication methods, and self-awareness with an expected outcome of increased cultural competence of nursing students. This qualitative study uses a pre and post-survey method of data collection. The survey used is the Inventory for Assessing the Process of Cultural Competence among Healthcare Professionals - Student Version (IAPCC-SV), developed by Campinha-Bacote, as a measurement tool of students Cultural Competence and Health Literacy proficiency.
Results: A convenience sample of Associate Degree Nursing students were used for this project (n=34). The general results of this project reveal that the educational program increased students' knowledge from Culturally Aware to Culturally Competent and Culturally Proficient. Data is still being processed. Full results will be forthcoming.
Conclusion: Nursing students are core providers in the health care setting and due to their learning focus may spend significant more amounts of time with individual patients. These students are in the perfect position to assess and address the patient's health care literacy needs. The ultimate outcome of this project was to promote and support cultural competence and health literacy. Through educating nursing students, this knowledge will remain with them throughout their careers and promote the nursing profession as a whole. This, in tuRNwill increase the quality of nursing care and benefit the patient population as a whole.
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