At the recent Jerusalem as a Culturally Competent City conference we called cultural competency for health care professionals, ‘advanced cultural competency.’ But it doesn’t matter if they’re advanced or just starting out. One of the main takeaways from the conference was that cultural competency is an ongoing process that needs to be constantly reviewed and re-visited.
So last week, on June 7, we continued the process for cultural competency coordinators from Jerusalem HMO’s and hospitals with a joint meeting and peer learning session. There were representatives from the ALYN Rehabilitative Hospital, Hadassah Mt. Scopus as well as Ein Kerem campuses, Sha’are Zedek, and Meuchedet, Maccabi and Leumit HMO’s.
The goal of the meeting was to discuss challenges the coordinators have in assimilating principles of cultural competency in the different health care institutions. Issues included:
- Including doctors in the training;
- Assimilating telephone interpreting into everyday use;
- Coping with the loneliness of the position;
- Lack of resources;
- Strategies of dealing with workers who refuse to show cultural sensitivity;
- Working on Shabbat, and more.
Participants shared tips and suggestions from their experiences. In addition, Dr. Michal Schuster presented part of the recently-published research she conducted with Irit Elroy and Ido Elmakais regarding accessibility to signage in public and government hospitals. Michal was gave participants suggestions on how to better adapt signage and make it more accessible to different cultures.
Many of the participants said they felt the meeting was a great help and that they wished to continue to meet on a regular basis.
Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for its continuing support of this program.