Many college entrance exams in the early s were specific to each school and required candidates to travel to the school to take the tests. The College Boarda consortium of colleges in the northeastern United States, was formed in to establish a nationally administered, uniform set of essay tests based on the curricula of the boarding schools that typically provided graduates to the colleges of the Ivy League and Seven Sistersamong others.
As a result, many health care professionals are concerned with providing culturally sensitive patient education. However, it is a daunting task for nurses and other health care providers to become familiar with the cultural dynamics of all the various ethnocultural groups in the United States.
Rather than taking on the virtually impossible task of learning about multiple cultures, it is more practical and helpful for nurses to use a generic approach in doing a cultural assessment. Data obtained from a cultural assessment will help the patient and nurse to formulate a mutually acceptable, culturally responsive treatment plan.
The basic premise of the cultural assessment is that patients have a right to their cultural beliefs, values, and practices, and that these factors should be understood, respected, and considered when giving culturally competent care.
Table 15 shows questions to ask during a cultural assessment. Why do you think it started when it did? How severe is your illness?
Will it have a long or short course? What kind of treatment do you think you should receive? What are the most important results you hope to get from this treatment? What are the chief problems your illness has caused for you? What do you fear most about your illness? Issues, Principles, Practices, 3rd ed.
By asking the patient and family these questions you can obtain valuable information needed for a teaching plan. Health care providers should teach from a position of mutual understanding and collaboration rather than trying to impose traditional Western medical practices that are unlikely to be effective.
The next step in cultural assessment is to determine how embedded the patient is in his or her traditional culture. Cultural embeddedness refers to how aligned the patient is with the native culture. Table 16 shows some characteristics of cultural embeddedness.
Table 16 How recently did the patient immigrate? Was the immigration voluntary or involuntary? Did the patient live in intermediate countries before coming to the United States?
What country did the patient immigrate from and how different is that culture from U.
Who does the patient associate with? What type of neighborhood does the patient live in?
Does the patient follow traditional dietary habits? Does the patient wear native dress? Does the patient leave his neighborhood to participate in the larger culture? Does the patient use folk medicine or use the practices of a native healer? Does the patient come from an urban or rural area in the native country?
How recently the patient has immigrated to America, whether the immigration was voluntary or not, and whether the patient lived in intermediate countries are important to know.
In general, the more recently the person has immigrated, the less acculturation will have occurred. If the person was forced to leave his or her native country and was detained in other countries, as has happened with many Southeast Asian immigrants, painful experiences may further delay acculturation.
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Educational assessment is the process of documenting, usually in measurable terms, knowledge, skills, attitudes and beliefs. Assessment can focus on the individual learner, the learning community (class, workshop, or other organized group of learners), the institution, or the educational system as a whole.
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