IU Health Starke Hospital participates in diversity training
An IU Health Starke Release
Knox, IN–Ruth Ambers, Patient Accounts director for Indiana University Health Starke Hospital, and several of her colleagues attended a Diversity Training session last month.
The session, conducted by IU Health Trainer Shawn Arnsbarger, focused on many cultural differences. In her first example she passed out a picture of a grasshopper, pointing out that here in the United States it is thought of as a pest. While in Thailand, grasshoppers are food, and in China they are many times kept as pets.
Next, she had the class guess her nationality. From South American locales to Greece, the answers were met with a negative response from Arnsbarger. All seemed surprised when she said her parents were from Lebanon, and she grew up in a home that spoke Arabic.
“We can’t assume that we know from appearance or speech a person’s nationality,” she said. “This class cannot necessarily erase prejudices, but it can make us aware of them so that we can make an effort to change.”
The participants in the class were challenged to identify their cultural intelligence profile from seven examples, and from that identification build learning strategies to help bridge the divides. Many in the class were surprised to learn even though they thought they exhibited no bias in interactions with persons of other cultures, their past speech and body language could have been perceived as offensive to those with different cultural backgrounds. It was pointed out that divide in perceptions could be detrimental in creating and maintaining a positive relationship with the very customers colleagues interact with regularly.