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Embracing Diversity

UVAHS and the PNSO share a vital commitment to the ongoing development of cultural competence in professional staff. Multiple activities and programs build the cultural competence needed to foster inclusive teamwork and provide individualized, patient-centric care in our diverse patient population and community.

Supporting Patients' Individual Preferences

The PNSO works with the School of Nursing's Diversity & Culturally-Appropriate Care Committee to enhance the integration of cultural diversity into nursing practice, to develop innovative methods to increase cultural awareness, to establish cultural diversity resources for nurses, and to ensure that data collection tools capture cultural care needs of patients and families. Together we facilitate nurses' ability to meet the needs of the many patient populations we serve.

Education on culturally-sensitive practices is provided during New Employee Orientation through a computer-based learning (CBL) module, "Diversity in Health Care." Preceptors role model and guide new nurses in applying available UVAHS resources in their practice areas. Cultural competence retraining occurs in annual mandatory CBL modules for all staff as well.

Resources for patients and caregivers:

Communication, language and literacy - In 2005, UVAHS won an award for its exemplary patient communications offerings from the AMA's Ethical Force Program. Programs exist to support communications between healthcare providers and patients with special needs such as limited English proficiency, limited literacy, and sensory and cognitive challenges. Options such as UVA Language Assistance Services' in-person interpreters and Cyracom interpreters-by-phone support in-the-moment communications, and educational opportunities help prepare staff to meet patients' needs. 

Faith-based considerations - The University's Chaplaincy Committee developed resources available online for staff and patient reference: Religious Beliefs and Practices Affecting Health Care;   Prayers and Sacred Readings; and  Holy Days: Selected Readings and Explanations. Staff and patients may also consult with Health System Chaplains or connect with representatives of local faith communities.

Cultural beliefs and practices - The UVA Health Sciences Library has also consolidated many resources into an online Culture & Communications toolkit addressing cultural care needs and permitting easy access to information about specific practices/preferences that influence health care interactions.


Workforce Inclusiveness

The PNSO and the Medical Center foster an appreciation for the diversity of our team as well as our patients, embracing the ways in which our differences improve our interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation in clinical care delivery.

Policies exist to support this environment of inclusiveness. In keeping with our relationship-based approach to care, the PNSO was instrumental in initiating the development of Standards of Professional Behavior; this suggestion from Nursing Congress was developed by a Nursing Cabinet workgroup, then adopted housewide as interdisciplinary Medical Center Policy #262. Personal convictions are also taken under consideration when making caregiving assignments ( HR Policy #705, Staff Requests Regarding Assignments).

UVAHS welcomes all caregivers of diverse backgrounds and actively seeks to recruit nurses to reflect the diversity of our patient populations. As part of ongoing efforts to increase the diversity of the nursing workforce, Diversity Weekend recruitment events are co-sponsored by the PNSO, the School of Nursing and Human Resources. Weekend events are planned to introduce participants to patient care areas, nurses and nursing leaders, and community resources. A number of other special events take place around the University community as well.

There are also many UVA community resources supporting diversity and inclusiveness:

Join our team! Contact a nurse recruiter, or view our currently available nursing opportunities.

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