Encouraging Early Clinical Experiences to Foster Professional Development and Informed Career Choices
Guiding students towards fulfilling and successful careers in healthcare is a critical responsibility for college advisors looking to prepare their students for success in the healthcare industry.
While classroom learning is essential, experiential learning provides unique opportunities for students to apply their knowledge, gain real-world experience, and build the skills necessary for a successful career.
According to “The State of the Student 2022” report from Wiley, 55 percent of undergraduates struggle with disengagement and a lack of connection to their coursework.
According to “The State of the Student 2022” report from Wiley, 55% of undergraduate and 38% of graduate students struggle with disengagement and a lack of connection to their coursework, which can negatively impact their academic and career outcomes.
As a result, it’s essential to provide students with opportunities to engage with the material in a real-world setting.
One effective way to do this is through shadowing doctors, both locally and abroad. Shadowing programs provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to observe healthcare professionals at work, ask questions, and gain a deeper understanding of the healthcare industry.
Participating in a shadowing program can provide undergraduate students with several benefits, including:
Gaining first-hand experience: Shadowing programs give students the chance to see the day-to-day operations of a healthcare facility and the various roles that healthcare professionals play in providing care.
Building professional networks: Shadowing programs allow students to build relationships with healthcare professionals, which can be invaluable when it comes time to apply for jobs or internships.
Gaining insight into different healthcare specialties: Shadowing programs provide students with exposure to a wide range of healthcare specialties, helping them make informed decisions about their future careers.
Shadowing doctors abroad has an added value for undergraduate students interested in healthcare – one that has become an increasingly essential skill in today’s diverse society: the development of cultural competence.
Cultural Competence: Why It's Important for Healthcare Professionals
In today’s increasingly diverse society, cultural competence has become an essential skill for healthcare professionals. Cultural competence refers to the ability to understand and navigate cultural differences, including language, beliefs, and values, when providing care to patients from diverse backgrounds.
The importance of cultural competence in healthcare cannot be overstated. According to a report from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), patients who receive care from culturally competent healthcare providers have better health outcomes and are more likely to seek out care when needed. Conversely, patients who receive care from healthcare providers who are not culturally competent are more likely to experience miscommunication, mistrust, and poor health outcomes.
As healthcare becomes more globalized, cultural competence has become an even more critical skill for healthcare professionals to possess. The ability to understand and navigate cultural differences is essential for providing effective care to patients from diverse backgrounds, including those from other countries.
How Shadowing Abroad Can Help Students Develop Cultural Competence
One of the most significant benefits of shadowing doctors abroad is the opportunity for students to develop cultural competence. By shadowing doctors in another country, students are exposed to a different healthcare system and a diverse patient population, which can help them better understand cultural differences and the impact they have on healthcare.
Through shadowing abroad, students can develop the following skills related to cultural competence:
Language skills: Shadowing abroad can help students develop language skills, which can be essential for communicating with patients from diverse backgrounds. By learning a new language or practicing their existing language skills, students can better connect with patients and provide more effective care.
Cross-cultural communication skills: Shadowing abroad can help students develop cross-cultural communication skills, such as active listening and empathy, which are critical for building trust and understanding with patients from diverse backgrounds.
Cultural humility: Shadowing abroad can help students develop cultural humility, which involves recognizing and respecting cultural differences and the impact they have on healthcare. By developing cultural humility, students can avoid making assumptions or stereotypes about patients from different backgrounds and provide more effective and compassionate care.
By developing cultural competence through shadowing abroad, students can become better-prepared healthcare professionals who are equipped to provide effective care to patients from diverse backgrounds. They will be better able to navigate cultural differences and provide care that is respectful, compassionate, and effective.
Cultural competence is a critical skill for healthcare professionals in today’s diverse society. Through shadowing abroad, undergraduate students interested in healthcare can develop the language skills, cross-cultural communication skills, and cultural humility necessary to provide effective and compassionate care to patients from diverse backgrounds. As a college advisor, it’s essential to encourage your students to pursue these opportunities to promote cultural competence and prepare them for a successful career in healthcare.
In conclusion, shadowing doctors, both locally and abroad, can be an excellent way for undergraduate students to gain real-world experience, build professional networks, and make informed career choices.
As a college advisor, it’s essential to encourage your students to pursue these opportunities to promote professional development and prepare them for a successful career in healthcare.
Remember, early clinical experiences can make all the difference in launching a successful career!