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‘Caring Across Cultures Conference’ addresses COVID-19 trauma

Oklahoma City University’s Kramer School of Nursing and the Oklahoma Nurses Association will present the “Caring Across Cultures Conference: Culture of Healing” on Tuesday, Sept. 21. The conference will be held virtually this year from 8:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. For those who register but cannot attend the live webinar, a recording of the conference will be provided.

The conference is dedicated to discussing the impacts of COVID-19 on health care professionals and communities suffering from health inequities. The presenters will explore the importance of cultural competence and the need for equitable health care for all. Participants will learn how to recognize and address trauma and practice modalities for healing, along with the opportunity to complete a self-assessment and create a plan of wellness and self-care.

Presenters will include Janice Lanham, RN, MS, CNS, FNP of Clemson University School of Nursing; OCU’s Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Talia Carroll, Ph.D.; and Denna Haslett, RN, Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga certified (TCTSY).

OCU nursing professor Pam Melson, RN, MSN, NC-BC, served as the lead nurse planner for this year’s conference. Melson said, “If you listen to the media, you will repeatedly hear that nurses and frontline health care workers are synonymous with angels, yet they remain in the depths of despair. Myself, as so many of my peers, have experienced the pain and the honor of bearing witness to our coworkers, students and/or faculty members’ severe anguish of the effects of COVID, compounded from unequitable healthcare disparities. There is a higher rate of professionals struggling with mental, physical and spiritual health, many leaving their profession, broken and tattered. We cannot change what has occurred, yet we are being given the opportunity to lean into the pain and move forward with some tools for healing.”

Carroll added that the “Culture of Healing” conference is “necessary right now as we continue to navigate COVID-19 and the developing variants. The level of trauma many have experienced since 2020 as a result of a number of challenges in the U.S. and globally cannot be overlooked.”

Carroll said she looks forward to “engaging with conference participants about how we learn to manage trauma and even more, the importance of unlearning the practices that have not served us and do not contribute to our well-being or how we might support the well-being of others.”

To register for the conference, visit the Continuing Education page at okcu.edu/nursing.

Registered nurses in Oklahoma who attend the virtual conference and submit the online evaluation will receive three credit hours of continuing education. Oklahoma Nurses Association is an approved provider of continuing nursing professional development by the Midwest Multistate Division, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

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