Ready for the World: Cultivating Culturally Competent Clinicians through Diversity Group Education
Purpose: To engage the participant in thoughtful, meaningful and impactful conversations by sharing our experiences of Diversity Group education with our own students and to generate ideas for those seeking to incorporate diversity and culturally competence education. Methods and/or Description of Project: During this educational session, we will introduce cultural competency and examine how it relates to physical therapy education and working in healthcare. By examining the current literature, we will discuss what strategies are being implemented currently. We will then share what was our "catalyst" for establishing our own Diversity Group and how we have arrived to this stage of our development, including sharing our group mission and vision statement. While describing our Diversity Group meetings, we will provide examples of our topics, group discussions and activities with our colleagues, in order to open the floor for discussion and sharing of ideas. Additionally, we will share some of the students' reflections and feedback of how they have benefited from the Diversity Group. Finally, we will discuss how we, as facilitators, have evolved and how we continue to educate ourselves in order to offer our students more relevant and current topics for their learning, engagement and growth into culturally competent clinicians. Results/Outcomes: We expect that by attending this session, the participant will gain a better understanding of what it means to be culturally competent in the physical therapy profession. Additionally, we expect that the participant will gain useful information and tools from our model of Diversity Group training and utilize methods that would be helpful for the development of their own students' cultural competence. Additionally, we expect that the group discussions will stimulate ideas that would energize faculty and clinical staff to integrate within their own work environments. Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: By taking steps beyond the mandatory curriculum requirements to mentor culturally competent physical therapy clinicians, we are being proactive to ensure that we are truly preparing our students to be "ready for the world" of diverse patient populations and co-workers. Diversity Group education accomplishes this initiative. This session aligns well with the objective of the conference theme of "Navigating Workforce Needs for Society: Developing a Diverse and Culturally Competent Physical Therapy Workforce," as addressing diversity, equity and inclusion for our patients, the communities we serve, as well as ourselves, is paramount for today's society.