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Nursing students take part in cultural awareness training

ISSUED: 21 October 2021

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — A mix of D.N.P. and senior-level B.S.N. students in the School of Nursing participated in a BaFá BaFá cross cultural simulation on Tuesday, October 19. The students were divided into two groups that created a series of different cultural norms such as language, values, and interpersonal communications and relationships that defined their group. Each group then sent an “ambassador” to the other group in an attempt to learn about and understand the other culture, then reported it back to their home group.

“When you become a nurse, you are in contact with a lot of people from a lot of different cultures and you need to be respectful of that,” said Dr. Kelly Watson Huffer, associate professor of nursing education. “The best way to respect another culture is to walk a mile in their shoes and BaFá BaFá has people do that, so students can understand how difficult it is to navigate for patients from other cultures with other languages who maybe aren’t familiar with our healthcare system in the United States.”

Dr. Cara Burcker, assistant professor of nursing, said it’s important for nursing student to have opportunities to develop skills at navigating cultural diversity.

“Students don’t always have experiences with diverse populations in their clinical,” Burker said. “This gives them the opportunity to truly experience another culture, one they don’t understand at all, so they can see the patient’s perspective. Students for the most part have a positive experience and tell us that they’ve learned something and that they’ll take it into their practice.”

This is the third year the School of Nursing has offered BaFá BaFá to students.

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