RTT class highlights cross-cultural understanding as critical to patient care

This week, junior WSU Applebaum Radiation Therapy Technology students spent a class focused on diversity and cultural competency in health care. In addition to an interactive discussion and lecture, each student shared something that represented their own culture or background, from food to military awards.

The junior class of the Wayne State Radiation Therapy Technology Program outside the WSU Applebaum building at 259 Mack Ave. in Detroit

Program Director Jeannetta Greer and Assistant Clinical Professor Alisa Kagen led the class.

"As health care professionals, we encounter a diverse population of patients, and it is part of our professional responsibility to make sure all our patients feel comfortable and respected," Kagen said. "This class showed the importance of respecting and appreciating each other's customs, traditions, religions and uniqueness."

RTT student sharing about cultural traditions
RTT student Khouloud Moussa presents her family recipe for maamoul

When asked why understanding diversity is so important, RTT student Khouloud Moussa said, "Everyone is unique, and when we learn from each other it leads to innovation and creativity. It can free us from the pressure to fit into a one-size-fits-all way of life, alleviate the fear of differences, and create greater awareness, respect and acceptance in our society." 

Moussa shared her family recipe for the Middle Eastern holiday dessert maamoul, which is a shortbread cookie filled with dates, walnuts or pistachios and pressed with a wooden mold to give it a festive pattern. Moussa's family uses cinnamon and sugar in the filling, with the cookie dough made from semolina flour, ghee or butter, rose water or orange blossom water, and sugar. 

Program Director Jeannetta Greer said, "I am so excited about how the class went. We all learned so much about each student's unique culture. More importantly, we learned how alike we are as well."

The Wayne State University Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Radiation Therapy Technology program has achieved a 100% employment rate for more than five years in a row. Students earn 20 hours of clinical experience per week throughout the entire program, rotating through a broad spectrum of clinical environments. Apply by November 30.

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