Nurse Trainees Talk Patients’ Language - Diverse Health

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Nurse Trainees Talk Patients’ Language

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by Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. — A North Dakota nursing program is running simulations in Spanish to increase cultural competency of nursing students.

The Dakota Nursing Program at Bismarck State College began its collaboration with a Spanish professor’s class to run scenarios in Spanish, with the help of a student-translator, The Bismarck Tribune reported.

“They’re seeing more and more of this in practice, where they’re walking into a room and the patient doesn’t speak English,” said Annie Paulson, associate professor of nursing with the nursing program.

On April 18, students learned how to explain things to patients and ask them questions about their symptoms.
Nursing students were paired with Spanish students, with one Spanish student playing a patient. The translator was available to assist students when they weren’t sure of words or phrases.

“It was nice having real people who can interact with,” said nursing student Dara Friedrich. “It was really interesting to have that cultural aspect to this that you don’t normally see.”

Spanish professor Ryan Pitcher said the program is also assisting his dual-language learners.
“It’s something that serves both our needs,” said Pitcher.

Paulson said the program is seeing an increase in students wanting to enroll.

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