Incorporating low-English proficiency language barriers in the Ball Sate nursing curriculum

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Swigler, Shania
Osborne, Karrie
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Thesis (B.?)
Honors College
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Due to globalization, the United States has become more diverse than ever, which means that healthcare providers are more likely to encounter language barriers now than ever before. These non-native English speakers tend to receive worse health care; Many studies have shown that low-English proficiency (LEP) often leads to unreliable communication between patient and health care provider, which easily leads to unsafe health care (Hu, 2018). If one takes a look at health professions majors’ curricula across the country, there is a real lack of language barrier education; this holds true for both undergraduate and graduate programs. This paper is aimed at exploring what institutions of higher education, both undergraduate and graduate levels, are doing to prepare their health professions majors to effectively address language barriers in a health care environment and what they could do better. The nursing curricula at several highranking nursing programs—Indiana University, Purdue University, John Hopkins University, Vanderbilt University, and Ball State University—were examined for the inclusion of language barrier education. A collection of 4 scripts was written in combination with this report. The scripts are all set in a Primary Care Provider setting but each one utilizes a different type of interpreting service. When language barriers are included in the curriculum the best way to address them is through the use of clinical human patient simulations. Ball State would be setting a great example for other universities if they were to take the necessary steps to officially include language barriers. Especially LEP language barriers, into their nursing curriculums.