Twenty-two poster displays filled the HPA Atrium during UCF’s Diversity Week. The displays were designed by first-semester UCF nursing students as part of a cultural heritage assignment aimed at educating the future nurses and their peers about health conditions often unique to a particular cultural heritage group.

Nearly all heritages were represented in the undergraduate Cultural Health Promotion Poster Day. Groups studied included Arab American, African American, Amish, Appalachian, Asian Americans, Bosnian, Chinese Americans, Cuban American, Filipino, Haitian, Hindu, Iranian Americans, Japanese, Jewish, Korean American, Mexican, Navajo, Puerto Rican, Russian, Vietnamese, among others.  

“The event summarizes a number of cultural heritages in one day for maximum impact in meeting the students’ learning objectives. The students work in teams studying one cultural group in-depth and then learn about other cultural health issues from the poster displays of their peers,” says Dr. Pamela Ark, an assistant professor in UCF’s College of Nursing.

The interactive event focused on varied cultural heritage clients who now live in America. The students use the cultural assessment to determine a priority health problem and then design a program of intervention. The students taught guests as well as fellow nursing students about their assigned topic. All of the students were required to visit their peers’ displays and gain knowledge about a wide range of health issues.

“Nurses today are responsible for culturally competent patient care,” explains Dr. Ark. “This event helps our future nurses learn about different cultures and also helps them understand how a patient’s cultural heritage can impact their patient care delivery plans.”

The nursing students wrote theoretical plans of action that they will implement in their clinicals. After the event, the students wrote short summaries of the posters they viewed and how the acquired knowledge from the poster session will help guide them in their nursing care.

UCF nursing student Amy Howard enjoyed the exercise. “It’s much easier to learn about cultural heritage scenarios through poster presentations than by reading about them in a book.”

The event, hosted by UCF’s College of Nursing, aligns with UCF’s institutional effectiveness plan for cultural diversity. During the university’s Diversity Week (October 19-23), the Office of Diversity Initiatives highlights programs and activities that coincide with themes of diversity and special rights.

By: Heather Robbins, communications intern