Cultural Competency in Child Life: Is There a Gap Between Cultures in Pediatric Care That We Can Fill?
Intercultural competency is becoming more crucial for effective communication as the world becomes more global and interconnected. This issue is particularly true in health care settings, where effective communication is essential for providing the best care possible. There is very little research about intercultural competence training for Child Life Specialists whose primary role is to communicate with the patients and parents. The purposes of this study was to investigate 1) the levels of cultural competency training Child Life Specialists (CLSs) report having received, as well as their interest in more training, 2) assessing the extent to which CLSs are providing culturally competent care (self-reported), 3) understanding the extent to which barriers to providing culturally competent care are present, 4) identifying relations between culturally competent practice, barriers, and perceived feelings of success, and 5) determining whether there are group differences on culturally competent practice, barriers, and perceived feelings of success between those who reported having received training and those who reported no training. A total of 42 Child Life Specialists completed an online survey. Results indicated a variety of training experiences, with those reporting more training perceiving fewer barriers to culturally competent care. A strong interest in more training was also revealed.