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Old Dominion University hosted a mock wedding on campus Friday, June 1, in connection with the School of Nursing's cultural competency training program. The wedding, which features participants from many diverse backgrounds, was filmed and used as a training tool to help students specialize their care depending upon a patient's cultural heritage or ethnicity.

The fictional Mundo family wedding will be shown to new nursing students to introduce them to a wide variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Muslim, Protestant and Catholic customs, along with Hispanic, African American, Filipino and American Indian traditions will be included.

According to Richardean Benjamin, chair of the School of Nursing, "It is likely that our students will encounter such diversity in their professional careers, and through these tools we can provide them with a plan of care for diverse populations."

The event will further enhance the training program Old Dominion and Eastern Virginia Medical School call Monarch General Hospital, which features paid actors as patients. During their four years of study, ODU students will "meet" these character patients during video training sessions online. "Monarch General serves as a virtual obstacle course for our students to test their skills and develop professionally," said Phyllis Barham, senior lecturer in the nursing school.

The cultural competency training program is funded by a $775,000 grant the school received last year from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. Benjamin said the program further supports Old Dominion as a leader in terms of standardized patient care.

This article was posted on: June 1, 2007

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Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.