Cultural Competency Training Tool available
New Zealand’s first online foundation course on cultural competency, designed specifically for health workforce professionals, was released this month.
The free online training tool – the Foundation Course in Cultural Competency – provides a basic understanding of cultural competency and health literacy.
The multimedia, interactive course is a voluntary programme and has three modules. They provide an understanding of New Zealand’s culturally diverse population, with an in-depth emphasis on Māori culture. The modules also focus on the importance of health literacy and how health professionals can make a difference to outcomes.
Each training module is supported by videos, video transcripts, additional reading resources and library references.
How to access the Foundation Course in Cultural Competency
- People interested in the training can inquire via www.mauriora.co.nz
- Users require a broadband connection and a computer.
- The training is free for the next 12 months.
- If you have technical difficulties with the training, you can call a Help Desk number during working hours – (09) 486-7148.
Cultural Competency Training Tool Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Cultural Competency Training Tool?
It is a foundation, online cultural competency course that provides a basic understanding of cultural competency and health literacy in the New Zealand health sector.
Who is this training for?
The Foundation Course in Cultural Competency has been developed especially for the New Zealand health workforce.
Why has this training tool been developed?
Cultural competence training has been found effective in updating health workers’ knowledge, skills and attitudes, allowing them to be more ‘in tune’ with their patients or clients.
When patients and their whanau are provided health information in a way they can understand, it helps them to be more active and engaged in decisions about their health.
The training tool also addresses the need for a nationally consistent online foundation course on cultural competency and health literacy for the regulated and non-regulated health workforces.
How long does it take to complete the training?
The multimedia, interactive course has three modules. It takes about an hour to complete these combined modules.
The course takes longer if users review the additional online reading and resources.
Why is it important for health professionals to be culturally competent?
All health professionals should have the ability and knowledge to communicate and understand health behaviours influenced by culture.
Culture is not just about our race, what we look like or the language we speak. Culture can be about religion, occupation and lifestyle. It often stems from our ethnicity.
Health professionals who understand this will find ways to better communicate with people from different cultures who use health services.
A culturally competent health workforce can make a positive difference to patient experiences.
How many health professionals will have access to this training?
It will be freely available to everyone in the New Zealand health workforce until June 2013 and will be offered to at least 48,000 health workers in the next year.
To find out more, go to: www.mauriora.co.nz
What do people need to access this training?
Users only require a broadband connection and a computer.
When will it become available online?
From 12pm, Thursday 21 June 2012
Can I talk to someone if I have technical problems completing the course?
Yes. Users who have technical difficulties with the training can call a Help Desk number – (09) 486-7148 – during working hours.
What is health literacy?
Health literacy is broadly defined as someone’s ability to get and use basic health information needed to make good health decisions.
It involves more than someone’s ability to read and write. It’s about understanding a range of health messages, from mass media campaigns to what your doctor or nurse prescribes, and even correctly following instructions on medicine labels.
Health literacy also involves health professionals giving clear and appropriate messages, and health services being user-friendly.
Why is health literacy important?
People with good health literacy are more likely to make informed and appropriate health decisions.
On average, New Zealanders have limited health literacy.
Research shows that more than 1,620,000 adult New Zealanders have low levels of health literacy.
We know from Korero Marama: Health Literacy and Maori Results from 2006 Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey that on average, Maori and non-Maori with tertiary education are the only group with health literacy skill levels sufficient ‘to meet the complex demands of everyday life and work in the emerging knowledge-based economy’.
Can the Cultural Competency Training Tool be used to inform health interactions with people from a range of different cultures?
Yes. The course is an introduction to cultural competency.
It has messages on cultural diversity and cross-cultural interactions in the health sector, highlighting the need for health professionals to be competent in dealing with people whose cultures differ from their own.
While the cultural competency training course is not exclusively about Maori, it does have an in-depth emphasis on Maori culture and Maori health.
How does the Cultural Competency Training Tool fit with the cultural competency standards and assessments undertaken by regulatory authorities in New Zealand?
All 16 of the regulatory authorities listed under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 will be offered the opportunity to share this tool with their specific workforce.
People who take the online training are also advised to check with their registration authority for their cultural competence standards and possible resources.
Is there an intention to make this training compulsory for people working in the regulated health workforce?
How will people in the non-regulated health workforce access the course?
The training will be offered through non-regulated health workforce networks. District Health Boards and Primary Health Organisations – which employ a combination of regulated and non-regulated workforces – will also be encouraged to make the training available to their staff.
Who has been involved in developing the Cultural Competency Training Tool?
The Ministry of Health contracted health, education and research consultancy Mauri Ora Associates to develop and deliver the cultural competency training tool.
An expert advisory group with representatives from the health sector workforce was established to help guide the development of the tool.
The tool was piloted mainly with the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, and Waitemata DHB staff. Feedback was used to inform development of the course content.
An oversight group has also been established for monitoring the use of the tool and considering feedback from users. How this feedback is incorporated into the continued improvement of the training tool will be the group’s primary responsibility.