This weeks #OTalk is on the topic of “Cultural Competence” and will be hosted by a Team from Coventry University (Via @TanyaRihtman).
Here is what they had to say…
Occupational therapists are increasingly practicing in a multi-cultural context, resulting in a need to ensure cultural competence capabilities. Students are exposed to various opportunities for developing cultural competence, from exposure to a range of different cultures in the classroom to opportunities for travel to different countries.
A group of 10 Coventry University undergraduate occupational therapy students about to commence their second year will be visiting South Africa in September 2018 on an immersive occupational therapy fieldtrip. The learning outcomes for the trip are to:
- Understand the nature and context of occupational therapy services in the South African context
- Understand the impact of the diverse cultural contexts of South Africa on consideration of ‘environment’ as a key component of occupational therapy practice
- Explore the nature the challenges and opportunities faced by occupational therapists in South Africa
- Reflect on the differences between influences informing occupational therapy services in South Africa and those in the UK
- Develop a critical understanding of learning needs and career options to explore career development
Engagement in this experience has raised questions about how we understand cultural competence, and whether we need to immerse ourselves in other cultures to become culturally competent occupational therapists.
Some questions to consider:
- How do we ‘immerse’ ourselves in another culture? Does this necessarily require travel? If not, how might we encourage engagement with cultural competence without travel?
- As occupational therapists, we are closely familiar with the impact of varied verbal and non-verbal communication styles. How might the opportunity to travel to different cultures expand our understanding of the impacts of these nuances in communication?
- How has first-hand experience of travel informed your clinical occupational therapy practice in general, and specifically in relation to your cultural competence?
- How might occupational therapy students and practitioners overcome their anxieties about travelling to other cultures with the express purpose of viewing different cultural lived experience from an occupational therapy lens?\
Support on the OTalk account; @colourful_ot
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