Today we held the second Cultural Competence training to a group of staff members in the Alyn hospital in Jerusalem. This training is part of our efforts, together with the Alyn Hospital’s management, to transform Alyn into a cultural competent hospital, the first of its kind in Israel. The work with Alyn is a component of the Jerusalem Cultural Competence in Health Project initiated by the Jerusalem Intercultural Center and the Jerusalem Foundation.
The training, developed by the Jerusalem Inter-Cultural Center, uses cases raised by the participants, as well as case-studies simulated with the help of a professional medical actress. Through the analysis of these cases the participants learn models for better patient-provider inter-cultural communication, cross-cultural communication tools, best ways to work with interpreters and tele-interpreters, and ways to deal with culturally-oriented political issues that may divert staff from its professional work. Our experience shows that in Israel, probably more than in other Western countries, political issues related to racism, religious coercion and other inter-group tensions, may create major challenges to the staff.
The feedback at the end of the training was excellent. Specifically we realized that some changes we made following feedback from the last training significantly improved the effectiveness of the workshop. As the training workshops are part of an institution-wide program, we will continue to mentor the participants in their efforts to assimilate cultural competence tools in the hospital.