During summer 2008 we developed our first Cultural Competency in Health training. Since then, we piloted the workshop, adapted it as necessary, and implemented it with medical staff at the Alyn hospital and at the Clalit Health Services (both in Primary Care Clinics serving the Ethiopian community and in expert clinics). This was done in partnership with the Jerusalem Foundation. Throughout this process, we got tremendous help from many experts from all over Israel – physicians, nurses, management of the relevant institutes, and researchers and practitioners focusing on cultural sensitivity, awareness and competence. It was important for us to present the training to these people, hear their feedback and insights, and thank them for their valuable contribution.
On September 7, 2009, we were joined by about 20 experts at the JICC premises on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. We went through the details of the workshop in depth and shared with them our ideas for improvements. At midday, we, the cultural competence team at the JICC, felt much enriched with a lot of new ideas and advice. Some of the feedback related to specific modules and parts of the workshop, allowing for further improvement, and some contributed to the overall approach of the workshop.
For example, we realized that learning can be structured around case studies provided by the participants during the workshop, as well as cases that we prepared in advance with the help of professional actors. We now also know how to better simulate with the participants situations they describe, by applying the “Caregiver in the Shoes of the Patient” model: we ask the medical staff member who raised the case to play the role of the patient while another participant plays the role of the medical staff him/herself. Thus the theoretical and practical modules of the workshop, that previously were given as is, are now incorporated and triggered by the stories and situations raised by the participants, as well as by the pre-designed situations we prepared with the actors.
This approach makes the training much more interactive and practical, and most importantly, responsive and well connected to the needs of the participating practitioners. We discussed this new training design with today’s expert participants and they all agreed it was very promising.