heads in silhouette with speech bubblesA project to promote cultural safety in nursing is seeking ethnically diverse students to tell a story about their encounter with local health care.

Project seeking to document stories of health-care interactions

The most effective health care maintains the patient’s personal, social, and cultural identity, says nursing professor Laurie Freeman, but the curriculum currently taught is weak on the concept of “cultural safety.”

She is excited about a project to develop a teaching module on the subject, and is seeking to enlist students from diverse ethnic backgrounds to help.

The Health Care Digital Storytelling Project will create an archive of students’ stories within the health-care system that will then inform students about the varying perspectives in play.

“Students retain information better when they can place it in a real-life context,” Dr. Freeman says. “We’re hoping that personal stories will really give them that aha! moment.”

She notes that everyone has had experiences with health care — good and bad. The project gives newcomers to Canada a chance to relate to them through the lens of their cultures.

“Digital storytelling is about telling your story how you want to tell it,” she says. “We’ll work with the participants to create their stories.”

The project is supported by the Centred on Learning Innovation Fund as a high-impact teaching practice.

Participants selected for the project will receive an honorarium as compensation for their time, says Freeman.

“They will really be helping us and our students,” she says. “Learning is about realizing where you come from before you can reach understanding.”

Freeman invites students with a story to tell to contact her at lfreeman@uwindsor.ca.

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