University of Nebraska Medical Center

PT Education working toward cultural competency

by Betsy J. Becker, DPT, PhD, and Dawn Venema, PhD

Faculty in the Division of Physical Therapy Education recently participated in a compelling personal and professional development opportunity related to diversity, equity and inclusion with Linda Cunningham, MPA, associate director of UNMC Human Resources. While exploring ideas to enhance the DPT curriculum in these areas, we learned of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), of which Linda is a trained and licensed administrator. Information about the IDI can be found here.

After each faculty member completed the IDI online, Linda met virtually with our group to present our collective results, including discussion of how we might use the results in our interactions with others, such as prospective and current students, faculty, staff, and the communities that UNMC services. Additionally, each faculty member had the option to meet with Linda to review his or her individual results and to establish a personalized Intercultural Development Plan.

Dawn Venema, PT, PhD, associate professor in the Division of Physical Therapy Education stated, “Initially, I was surprised by where I fell on the Intercultural Development continuum, but after discussion of my individual results with Linda, I can see how my life experiences to this point have contributed to my current cultural orientation.”

Betsy J. Becker, PT, DPT, PhD, CLT-LANA, director, Division of Physical Therapy Education and chair, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences stated, “While we’ve always aimed to create an inclusive and welcoming environment in our program, our time with Linda was an important step to learn how well we actually do that, and how to make progress going forward.”

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