Beginning this spring, FNU will be offering a new course, “Introduction to Cultural Safety.” The course will be made available not only to the FNU community but to anyone interested in the course and its areas of focus.
The curriculum was developed by FNU clinical faculty Dr. Erin Tenney, CNM, DNP, Class 14. The three-hour CE course has been reviewed by five fellow FNU faculty members. Those taking the course will learn about Native American history and culture in order to better comprehend cultural safety. This requires not only understanding the Native American culture, but also self-reflection and awareness on the part of the healthcare provider.
“The focus of the Introduction to Cultural Safety is on Native Americans, but the tenets can be applied to all populations,” Dr. Tenney said. “We will introduce the concept of cultural safety and center on the Indigenous patient experience, learning to listen as the patient defines what safe care is.”
By the end of the Introduction to Cultural Safety, learners will be able to:
- Define cultural safety
- Identify the three key tenets of cultural safety
- Explain the impacts of colonization on Indigenous people in the U.S.
- Describe what culturally safe vs. culturally unsafe care may look like
- Discuss personal and systems change strategies for improving the cultural safety of care
The course is led by Dr. Tenney with guest instructor Dorene Waubanewquay Day. In addition to being clinical faculty at FNU, Dr. Tenney is a certified nurse-midwife and women’s health nurse practitioner, DONA International birth doula trainer, writer, and photographer who has worked within Indigenous health centers and communities throughout her nursing career of almost 20 years.
Dorene Waubanewquay Day is an accomplished educator, midwife, activist, singer, and artist who consults with and works within many Indigenous and other communities and organizations to help restore and design culturally safe practices. In 2020, she was selected as a Luce Indigenous Fellow.
Dr. Tenney credits Dorene with being her teacher and mentor, “particularly about women’s health and traditional lifeways, birth and parenting, life, death, grief, healing and more.” Together, they have traveled to Native communities in the U.S. and Canada to provide birth and women’s health training. They have also provided culturally-based doula and midwifery teachings, in addition to cultural safety training for health providers in the U.S.
Those interested in the Introduction to Cultural Safety can enroll in the course at https://ceu.catalog.instructure.com/courses/introduction2cultural-safety.
Editor’s Note: This program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $2,065,200. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.