Aquifer Culture In Health Care
Aquifer Culture in Health Care

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Aquifer Culture in Health Care is designed to teach fundamental cross-cultural skills that can be used in the provision of health care services. The goal is to provide culturally appropriate care that maximizes common ground between the differing perspectives of the patient and the provider.


Aquifer Culture in Health Care sets the stage for active learning and rich discussion about the role of culture in health care, as well as the development of interpersonal and communication skills, systems-based practice, and professionalism—all in the setting of caring for children with complex medical illnesses.

  • Created for educators, by educators, to cover aspects of four nationally accepted curricula on multicultural health care
  • Available free of charge for the 2020-21 Subscription Year
  • Case content focused on learning fundamental cross-cultural skills key to providing culturally appropriate care
  • A combination of cases, readings, and tools help students translate skills to clinical practice
  • Proven pedagogy that standardizes experiences—overcoming geography, seasonality, and accessibility
  • Evidence-based, peer-reviewed, and continuously updated content
  • A wealth of source material, embedded assessment questions, and full references in each case
  • Delivered via the Aqueduct teaching and learning platform, which includes user management tools, easy reporting on student progress and course usage, plus tools to create custom courses to match a specific curriculum

These cases provide opportunities for students to focus on issues of cultural awareness, interpersonal skills and communication, systems-based practice, and professionalism. While the patients are children in these cases, the learning objectives are generalizable to other patients. Each case presents a patient whose culture differs from that of the provider or the student. These cases and accompanying resources provide opportunities for students to examine our own level of cultural awareness while revealing how cultural biases can profoundly impact our interactions with others.

At the start of each case, students are advised which resources will be used, so that—if desired—they can review them prior to working through the case. Additional links to the relevant reading or tool are provided at the time each is required for the care of the virtual patient. Students will learn how to apply the information in the readings to patient and family interactions and to practice using the tools when caring for a patient.

While Aquifer Culture in Health is designed for independent study, students may benefit from a combination of approaches to instruction. Educators can link the course to other learning opportunities within the clinical curriculum, such as using cases as a common clinical encounter for discussion or creating assignments around the Questions for Further Reflection at the end of each case. With Aqueduct, it’s easy to combine these cases with another course to build a custom curriculum.

Culture in Health Care 01: 6-year-old female with seizures

Culture in Health Care 02: 2-year-old male with fever and headache

Culture in Health Care 03: 2-year-old male with pneumonia and probable empyema

Aquifer Culture in Health Care Lead

What is cultural competency?

A set of congruent behaviors, attitudes and policies that come together in a system, agency or among professionals that enables effective work in cross-cultural situations.

Simply put, cultural competency is what allows one to interact effectively and appropriately with people (patients) from different cultures. However, the term can be misleading because it suggests a definite endpoint when one becomes “competent.”
Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services