Nursing education in the Sámi region enables cultural themes as a part of professional academic studies

Lead Author Tiina, Ervelius
Institution Contact Diaconia University of Applied Sciences Huvilakatu 31 B-rakennus 76130 Pieksämäki
Theme Theme 4: Building Long-term Human Capacity
Session Name 4.4 Circumpolar Health and Well-Being
Presentation Type Poster
Abstract text Professionals of nursing and deaconesses with skills of the Sámi language and knowledge of the Sámi culture are needed in the Sámi region in Northern Finland. Diaconia University of Applied Sciences (= Diak) has taken the educational challenge by combining education to include both the nursing and deaconess professions. Sámi Homeland in Ivalo has currently a group of nursing students who began their studies in September 2015 and who will graduate in May 2019. After graduation the nurses will be qualified to work as Registered Nurses and in addition, the nurses will also become deaconesses of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Besides this, the nurses are also studying the Sámi culture and are taking Sámi language courses.
The nearest Diak campus is situated 500 km from Ivalo, so the teaching is realized through blended learning. It means a combination of contact and distance learning in order to minimize the travelling of students and teachers.
The main aim of this project is to increase the amount of professionals with a good command of Sámi culture and culturally sensitive working methods. To reach this goal the method in this project is to develop the curriculum to include studies in the Sámi culture and in Sámi language. Besides this, the curriculum is developed to consider the practice in facing the Sámi people in a culturally sensitive way in different health care situations.
Evaluation is made by analyzing the curriculum and interviewing nursing students, Sámi people and local workers. The main results will deal with working methods in the context of the Sámi culture and also Sámi language speaking skills.