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Training in cultural compentency

Providing culturally competent medical care starts with an awareness of one’s own culture, as well as an understanding of the needs associated with providing care to people of different cultures. With this knowledge, organizations can begin to develop cross-functional strategies to change organizational practices, physical environments, and communication practices at all levels and across all disciplines. The national Office of Minority Health suggests providing training and education as a standard toward achieving culturally competent care. A 2006 report from the Commonwealth Fund noted that ongoing staff training was an “essential component of successful cultural competence programs.”

Minnesota Resources

Colon Cancer and How to Prevent It (in Vietnamese). This 3-part DVD aims to educate Vietnamese-American men and women on colorectal cancer prevention and early detection. Segments include an explanation of colon cancer, a description of a colonoscopy with graphics, and a colorectal cancer survivor’s story. An English companion guide is available. Developed by Vietnamese Social Services, Cancer Education Program in Minnesota. To obtain a free copy of this DVD, contact Marie Minh Hien Tran, 651-917-2945.

Culture Matters DVD Training Series. Stratis Health's DVD series offers insights into the beliefs and norms of three of Minnesota’s predominant cultures. DVDs available for purchase; facilitator discussion guides available at no cost. CEU credit available.

  • Hmong
  • Hispanic/Latino
  • Somali

Interpreting Stakeholders Group’s How To Work Effectively with Interpreters Training Module. Improve communication with patients of limited English proficiency by learning techniques for working effectively with interpreters.

Translation and Interpreting Program. Century College’s program focuses on training students to help non-native English speakers communicate with the English-speaking community. The program is designed to prepare students with the critical thinking and interpreting skills necessary to pass interpreter certification examinations, and to begin interpreting careers.

Understanding Vaccines. This DVD delivers basic information about vaccines to refugees and others with limited English- language skills. It explains how getting vaccinated protects an individual, family, and community against disease and stresses that vaccines are tested and their use monitored to ensure their safety. Each DVD presents a 20-minute program in seven languages: English, Hmong, Khmer, Lao, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. All non-English versions are subtitled in English. Produced by Emergency and Community Health Outreach (EHCO). Check out from Minnesota Department of Health's Refugee Health Lending Library or view online.

National Resources Available for Continuing Education Credit

Culturally Competent Nursing Care: A Cornerstone of Caring. This training includes an introduction followed by three courses organized by the three themes of the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards. CNE credit available.

A Physician’s Practical Guide to Culturally Competent Care. This free, accredited online cultural competency curriculum equips physicians with the awareness, knowledge, and skills to better treat an increasingly diverse population. CME/CE credit available.


Unified Health Communication 101: Addressing Health Literacy. A free online learning tool that helps users improve patient communication skills; increase awareness and knowledge of factors that affect communication with patients, such as health literacy, cultural competence, and limited English proficiency; and implement patient-centered communication practices. CEU/CE, CHES, CME, or CNE credit available.