Culturally appropriate professional practice in a diverse context

This self-learning module aims to encourage reflection by the practitioner or future practitioner on the development of his cross-cultural competence. Models are presented to foster the progression of this competence that is essential to the provision of health care within a socially diverse environment. Although this is a transversal competence that also facilitates integration into the professional role and effective multicultural teamwork, this module focuses more on the value of this competence in the provision of transcultural care.

Medicine and the Humanities modules focus on philosophy, ethics, history, arts and literature as they relate to the practice of medicine. Prepared by specialists in medical and human sciences, these modules aim to provide a basis of support for knowledge and reflection so that students and health care professionals are able to develop their vision of disease and care from a bio-psycho-social perspective within a wider field of knowledge.

The author


Viviane Fournier, Nurse, M. Ed., was coordinator of the implementation of the Nursing Program at Cégep Gérald Godin, which she still coordinates, and is a lecturer in the Faculty of Education of Université du Québec à Montréal. She is also a cross-cultural facilitator and is certified by the Quebec ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS). In addition, she offers cross-cultural approach workshops through the Association québécoise de pédagogie collégiale (AQPC). Her graduate work, on cross-cultural competence and the design of an online training course for teachers of health care education programs, was presented in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, in 2013 and at the 2015 Congrès international des infirmières et infirmiers de la Francophonie in Montreal.


By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Present and describe a cross-cultural development model adapted to health care; 
  • Understand the principles of cross-cultural communication, including the capacity for changing one’s cultural perspective; 
  • Identify one’s own cultural values and the need to distance oneself from one’s personal values in order to ensure the provision of culturally appropriate care.


Throughout the module, we invite you to PAUSE AND REFLECT in order to reinforce what you have learned. Take the time to write down your answers and ideas. An answer is given by the expert to help you deepen and ground your reflection. It is not meant to challenge the value of your personal answer but is there to offer new directions.
We also invite you to take personal notes using the “Note Taking” tool on the right.


Subject matter expert: Viviane Fournier, nurse, M. Ed.
Concept Development and Project Management: Isabelle Burnier, MD
Editorial Committee: Jean Roy, MD, Diane Bouchard-Lamothe, M. Sc.S.
Programming and Graphic Design: Medtech, University of Ottawa
Production: September 2015, online November 2015