Teaching physiotherapy skills in culturally-diverse classes
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Background: Cultural competence, the ability to work in cross-cultural situations, has been acknowledged as a core skill for physiotherapists and other health professionals. Literature in this area has focused on the rationale for physiotherapists to provide culturally-competent care and the effectiveness of various educational strategies to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge about cultural competence by physiotherapists and physiotherapy students. However, there is a paucity of research on how students with different cultural needs, who are attending one university class, can be accommodated within a framework of learning core physiotherapy skills to achieve professional standards. Results: This paper reports on steps which were taken to resolve the specific needs of a culturally-diverse body of first year physiotherapy students, and the impact this had on teaching in a new physiotherapy program located in Greater Western Sydney, Australia. Physiotherapy legislative, accreditation and registration requirements were considered in addition to anti-discrimination legislation and the four ethical principles of decision making. Conclusions: Reflection on this issue and the steps taken to resolve it has resulted in the development of a generic framework which focuses on providing quality and equitable physiotherapy education opportunities to all students. This framework is generalizable to other health professions worldwide.
BMC Medical Education
© 2012 Bialocerkowski et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Page numbers are not for citation purposes. Instead, this article has the unique article number of 34.