Breaking Barriers in Provider-Patient Relationships: An Analysis of Perceived Intercultural Communication Competence Among Nursing StudentsA qualitative thesis examining the changes in self-perceptions of intercultural communication competence by community college nursing students following exposure to intercultural communication competence training. Full Text.

Abstract: Communication can be particularly challenging for community college nursing students during their labor and delivery clinicals as there is an influx of Latino patients at the local medical facilities due to Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers (MSFWs) arriving for summer work. As a result, the student nurses provide care for Hispanic women and face particular challenges in provider-patient communication during prenatal outreach as well as labor and delivery care due to language and cultural barriers.

The director of nursing at a community college in the Southeastern United States expressed a need for a tool that would assist nursing students to improve their communication with Spanish-speaking patients during labor and delivery clinicals. A website was created to assist second-year nursing students with verbal and nonverbal communication and to provide online communication tools to prepare students for communicating with Latina patients in the clinical setting. The goal of this research is to assessnursing students’ levels of intercultural communication competence and to analyze their perceptions of the change, if any, they experience in intercultural communication competence after using the website.

Results of this thesis showed evidence that some nursing students’ self-perceptions changed after using the website and also that their perceptions of cultural contracts became more co-created. Students demonstrated a higher rate of openness and exhibited the goal of mutually understood communication. Surveys indicated that nursing students using the website more frequently experienced greater improvement in intercultural communication competence than those who used the website less. Implications are offered for future research and nursing student training.