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June 2009 Issue

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Cultural Fest Celebrates Diversity in Nursing

By Angela Koenig
Published June 2009

The College of Nursing held its first culture fest on May 18 to celebrate and understand diversity within the college.

The event, “Nursing Without Borders: Passport to Cultural Awareness,” featured student-prepared displays highlighting three significant health care components of various cultures: childbearing/ pregnancy, pain management and death/dying.

Students explained how cultural differences affect health care experiences in the United States. For example, in Lebanese culture, water pipe smoking is very common, but those in the culture don’t consider it smoking. Lebanese patients often answer “no” when asked if they smoke, which can increase their health risks in the United States, explains Julie Awick, senior nursing student.

The event also included hands-on experiences, such as carrying a baby using the African method of cradling, trying on African clothing and sampling foods from eight different cultures.

“By understanding these differences, hopefully we’ll be able to treat patients in ways that their families are comfortable with and still provide the needed health care,” says freshman nursing student Sherrun Walton. 

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