In a Transcultural Self-Efficacy screening that focused on students’ perceived self-efficacy on the issues of culture and health care, the students scored themselves very high on advocacy. We utilized Jeffrey’s Transcultural Self-Efficacy Tool which measures transcultural self-efficacy in 3 realms – cognitive, practical and effective. Medium to high scores indicate efficacy, and low scores indicate need for work in the area.
Advocacy focuses on advocating for self and others. Our students rated themselves high. In fact, 80.95% rated themselves as High, while 19.05% rated themselves as Medium in advocacy. No one rated them self as Low. This was also the case when comparing nursing with social work, public health and pre-med students. They all rated themselves as high in Advocacy. Advocacy comes with the development of therapeutic use of self and therapeutic communication skills.
The nursing students do their psychiatric/ metal health rotation fairly early in the program. They focus on therapeutic use of self and interacting with patients. They learn to focus on the needs of the patient. By the end of the rotation, the students perceive themselves as more involved and demonstrate more involvement with the patients. Students even start to advocate for patients’ needs.
In reviewing advocacy, as the students get stronger in their therapeutic communication skills, they listen more closely to the needs of the patients. With the improved therapeutic use of self and communication, comes caring and advocacy.