The College of Nursing and the College of Health Professions and Sciences are preparing students to provide better healthcare to Hispanic/Latino/a/e/x patients while considering their unique cultural and linguistic needs with a new course that’s part of the online Hispanic serving healthcare professionals certificate. The program is funded through a Title V grant awarded to the Office for Hispanic Serving Institution Initiatives from Project ENFERMERÍA.

Class Name
HSC 6626 – Healthcare Delivery for Hispanic Populations

Assistant Professor of Health Sciences Humberto López Castillo

When is it offered?
Spring semester

How many students in a class?
Thirty students are in a class. Fifteen seats are reserved for students enrolled in the graduate certificate, and 15 seats are open for any graduate student interested in taking the course as an elective.

For students completing the graduate certificate, NGR 5131 (Exploring Transcultural and Culturally Congruent Care for the Hispanic Population) is required. For students taking the course as an elective, there are no prerequisites.

From the Professor

Give me a brief overview of this course in your own words.
In this course, we study the dynamics of encounters between healthcare practitioners and Hispanic clients and patients in the clinical and community contexts, as well as encounters between subjects, participants, and respondents in a research context. Students learn to identify potential sources of language or cultural barriers for optimal healthcare delivery and to propose mediation strategies when caring for Hispanic clients and patients, especially among those with limited English proficiency (LEP). The class covers how to engage the services of medical or community interpreters, whether via a third-party interpreter or a bilingual provider. Spanish proficiency is not required to take the course.

What does the coursework entail?
Students will participate in discussions using Yellowdig, an online learning platform that has proven to be an engaging new tool that combines discussion posts and social media. Given that students in the course are already employed in the healthcare or a related professional field, they contribute with rich experiences and relatable examples. The course received the UCF Global Learning High Impact Practices (HIP) designation. Some activities the students will do include a 5-minute interview with clients and practitioners following a podcast format and writing letters to the editors of journals to do reasoned critiques of published articles.

Why is this class important for students wishing to go into healthcare?
For students who are already in healthcare, as well as those wishing to start a career in healthcare, this class will offer tools to mediate language and cultural challenges during encounters with Hispanic clients, patients, and research participants. Given the large proportion of Hispanics in the U.S., in Florida and in Orlando, we expect that these resources will be useful to improve health outcomes in the Hispanic population.

What are three things you hope students will learn in this course?
After completing this course, I hope students will learn about:

  1. Healthcare disparities faced by Hispanics in the U.S. — especially the Hispanic health paradoxes, which holds that Hispanics have a lower mortality rate in the U.S. than other ethnic groups, when in fact, health outcomes have found to be better for this population. I expect students to have a comprehensive view of these paradoxes, which include biological reasoning integrated with social determinants of health.
  2. With the knowledge above, I expect students to recommend and implement ethical, competent, evidence-based, cultural and language mediation strategies during healthcare encounters with Hispanic clients — including medical interpreters in their encounters with Hispanic patients.
  3. For students who qualify, I hope they sit for and pass the national exam offered by the National Board for Certified Medical Interpreters (NBCMI) and earn their CMI-Spanish credential.

From the Student

Franscico Mena ’21 kinesiology alum

Why did you decide to take this course?
I decided to take this course due to my involvement with the Hispanic serving health professionals graduate certificate. My goal is to pursue medical school and become a healthcare provider; taking a course titled Healthcare Delivery for Hispanic Populations allows me to expand my knowledge on diverse populations and provide more culturally congruent care.

What have you enjoyed most about this course?
I thoroughly enjoy that the majority of this course is discussion based and that the cohort is very diverse in terms of profession and education. This allows for a variety of opinions and different walks of knowledge to be shared.

How do you feel this is preparing you for your career?
Throughout my gap year, I believe this course has been an excellent expansion to my academic journey before my pursuit of medical school. It correlates to my career goals by preparing me for future patient interactions, obtaining a greater knowledge on healthcare disparities and helping me learn some of the intricacies of the healthcare system. The diverse cohort is also a wonderful networking opportunity.