Experiential gaming to facilitate cultural awareness: its implication for developing emotional caring in nursing

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Graham, IW & Richardson, E 2008, 'Experiential gaming to facilitate cultural awareness: its implication for developing emotional caring in nursing', Learning in Health and Social Care, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 37-45.

The publisher's version of this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1473-6861.2008.00168.x

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For nurses to deliver effective transcultural care, it must be carried out in a way that recognizes cultural difference and responds sensitively to it. In this study, the authors address the meaning of 'cultural awareness' and its place in the development of cultural competence among healthcare professionals. They explore the difficulties of providing effective methods for enabling students to become culturally aware and consider the use of games/simulations, whereby the learning experience emphasizes action and students begin to explore and evaluate through reflection. The focus then turns to using games in promoting cultural awareness based on the authors' experiences. Over several years, Bournemouth University and other European and American partners have developed and used with effect two particular games specifically tailored for work with healthcare professionals. The content and scope of the games are described which, together with supporting material, constitute a day's workshop and provide an excellent basis for furthering the development of cultural knowledge and skills. The final discussion describes how, with the present trend towards a scientific–technological approach to teaching/learning, the craft of nursing is being lost and therefore the complexity of caring is not being realized. This in turn jeopardizes the students' emotional learning, thereby negating the strength of nursing and the understanding of nursing as a discipline and practice. We believe that re-investing in forgotten teaching methods like gaming/simulation may help students interpret nursing as a caring practice that is academically defensible.

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