Performance Improvement 2010. Train Health Professionals

01/01/2010

A project evaluated curricular instruction available to train registered nurses in delivering culturally and linguistically appropriate services in order to increase access and quality of health care for diverse populations.  Previously, curriculum were written, tested and implemented to provide a framework for developing the pathways and relevant competencies to increase the quality and effectiveness of health care and to ensure that such care is not impeded by cultural and linguistic barriers.  The current (Phase II) study of the project involved a systematic, mixed-methods evaluation of the curriculum two years after its launch.  Scores on post-tests were consistently higher than on pre-tests, among curriculum participants alone and when compared to control group participants.  The curriculum, titled "Culturally Competent Nursing Care," increased knowledge and awareness of cultural competency, provided skills and tools to enhance the role of cultural competency in nurse-patient interactions, and offered methods to change attitudes among nurses dealing with patients within different racial/ethnic categories. (7996)

A study jointly supported by HRSA and the HHS Office of Minority Health examined the effectiveness of interventions introduced into the educational pipeline (at the high school, college, or post-baccalaureate levels) to enhance opportunities for racial/ethnic minority and disadvantaged students to enter careers in the health professions and health sciences.  Among the key findings: (1) While process evaluations have been the mainstay of traditional HHS approaches to evaluation of these types of programs and interventions, more outcome evaluations are needed where the greater cost and technical complexities can be accommodated; (2) Uniform Data Sets are useful for systematically collecting information on intervention processes, and may also have value for creating a data base that may be linked by external evaluators or agencies to other data bases to perform outcomes evaluations; (3) Program evaluations face a tension between evaluation in the service of performance feedback and in the service of performance judging; (4) Participation in an enrichment program at the studied colleges was associated with achievement of a significantly higher GPA than would have been expected based on students' baseline characteristics and performance on standardized college admission tests; (5) Students enrolled in enrichment programs at the colleges studied were significantly more likely than students not enrolled in these programs to participate in a wide range of enrichment activities.  (8233

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