Date of Award

Winter 12-9-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

PhD Health Sciences

Department

Health and Medical Sciences

Advisor

Genevieve Pinto-Zipp, Ed.D

Committee Member

Deborah DeLuca, J.D.

Committee Member

Raju Parasher, Ed.D

Keywords

healthcare, healthcare professional, cultural competence, assessing, culturally competent, cultural awareness, cultural proficiency, health, global perspective, healthcare professional student’s

Abstract

Background-The United States has become a more diverse society and healthcare professionals must be ready to meet the needs of this more culturally diverse society. Students studying in the many areas of healthcare must learn to be culturally competent. To ensure that students are culturally competent and can provide culturally competent care routed in a global perspective their abilities must be developed and assessed. With the absence of any such assessment tool in the literature reviewed the objective set forth in a preliminary study was to develop a tool to assess cultural competence from a global perspective. With this objective met, the objective of this dissertation was to determine the cultural competence levels of entering and exiting health science students within and across differing professional programs.

Study Design-Exploratory, Cross-Sectional, Two Group Design.

Setting- Seton Hall University

Participants- 196 student’s agreed to participate in the study. 146 were entering (first year) students and 59 were exiting (final year) students. Of the 146 entering students 138 of the surveys were usable in the data analysis and 58 of the 59 exiting were usable.

Outcome Measures- Health professional students from the School of Health and Medical Science or School of Nursing at Seton Hall University who consented to participate in the study and were first year pre-clinical students completed the Global (worldview) Cultural Competence Survey during the first two weeks of their academic program. Health professional students from the School of Health and Medical Science or School of Nursing who consented to participate in the study and were in their final year post clinical students completed the Global (worldview) Cultural Competence Survey during the last two weeks of their academic program.

Results -The analysis revealed that the Global (worldview) Cultural Competence Survey is a valid and reliable tool to assess cultural competence from a global perspective in health professional students. A significant difference in GWCCS total score was observed between entering and exiting students in health sciences- with the exiting students being slightly more culturally competent. However, a statistical significance in GWCCS total score was not observed between entering and exiting students in health sciences based upon their professional program.

Conclusion-The findings suggest that exiting health science students are slightly more culturally competent than entering health science students as determined by the Global (worldview) Cultural Competence Survey. Although, exiting health professional students were culturally competent based on this global assessment tool, ideally to enhance their abilities it would be advantageous for them to be culturally proficient. The author offers the Global (worldview) Cultural Competence Survey as a tool which can be used to assess health professional programs curriculums as it relates to developing students cultural proficiency skills from a global perspective.

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