Monday, December 21, 2015

Nursing Education for International Students

Here at EHR Tutor, we have several customers whose schools focus on international students. If you also find yourself with a large portion of students from other countries with language and/or cultural differences, we've compiled a few helpful teaching ideas.


  • Converting Metric to US Customary Measurements: Many international students are used to doing all measurements in Metric and Celsius. However, even if some facilities have moved to those measurements, patients will often only understand readings in US Customary and Fahrenheit. Becoming familiar with both systems can be done by having students take readings in one system and record them into an electronic charting system in the other. For example, have students take temperatures in Fahrenheit but record them in Celsius. If you're using EHR Tutor you can have students enter temperatures and measurements either way you decide.
  • Medical Terminology and Language Skills: No matter how prepared international students are, there is often a language gap after moving to an English speaking country. If you have an electronic charting system, you can design an activity that requires a student to read a descriptive Provider's Note including medical terminology and then translate that note into layman's terms. You can also have students start by recording narrative assessments rather than using an assessment form.
  • Patient Education: If you notice your international students are having difficulties making cultural connections, patient education is a great place to work on that. For example, if you find students communicating with patients in either too direct or too indirect of a way, you can create an activity that requires each student to educate a partner on something simple (for example, how to use a walker properly). This is also a great way to practice verbal skills if you find that language is still an issue. If you're already using EHR Tutor, check out our Patient Education Library for more ideas for patient education topics.