Technology-Based Educational Materials for Spanish Speakers
Ana-Clara Caldwell, SPT
I have always had a passion for working with children and am hoping to pursue a career in pediatrics upon graduation. As a camp counselor, nanny, tutor, and personal assistant to a teen with cerebral palsy, my love for working with children has only grown. I knew I wanted my capstone project to capitalize on this passion and help the pediatric population.
On the other hand, I have grown up with a mother from Argentina and am proud of my Hispanic heritage. I grew up speaking Spanish and my mom’s family still lives in Argentina. Growing up with a Latina mother, I have seen firsthand the discrepancies and hardships this population faces daily in our communities. I am passionate about equal access opportunities for the Latinx population in the United States and will strive to make an impact as a bilingual therapist.
I am fortunate enough that this project gave me the opportunity to incorporate both passions into a product that will help new Spanish-speaking parents of infants in the NICU. Dr. McCarty created the TEMPO project to train and support new parents of infants in the NICU. Through the program, parents learn to deliver physical therapy interventions such as massage and developmental play during hospitalization and once the family returns home. Last year, I had the opportunity to visit the UNC hospital and review the project. I immediately asked Dr. McCarty if the project was including the Latinx population. Upon learning that it was not, I knew that I wanted to help make the materials accessible to the Spanish-speaking population. Unbeknownst to me, Leslie had a similar plan! Over the past two semesters, we have worked alongside Dr. McCarty to translate her TEMPO materials into Spanish so that she can include the Spanish-speaking population in her project. I focused on translating the website and creating mobile applications, while Leslie focused on translating the written materials for the project (go check out her Capstone!). I have been working with two developers to create mobile apps that will make accessing the website information easier for new parents. This is an on-going project. As of right now, I have both an English and Spanish mobile application for Android users. The Apple applications are still being created. Lastly, I wrote a literature review to understand the importance and impact that technology-based educational materials have on parents of infants in the NICU. By creating these materials, the Latinx population will be able to learn important physical therapy interventions to maximize their infant’s development.
It has been an absolute joy to create these products and to work alongside Dr.McCarty and Leslie Sierra-Arevalo!
Literature Review: The Use of Technology-Based Resources for Parent Education in the NICU
Coming Soon! TEMPO app on the Google Play and Apple Store
Over the course of the project, I have received ongoing feedback from my committee members. Additionally, I used a focus group organized by TEMPO researchers and Bilingual Communications to provide feedback on the translated and culturally adapted materials. The reviewers were given the materials beforehand and asked to review it independently and prepare suggestions or corrections. Then, through a Zoom call, the focus group provided their feedback through a dynamic conversation discussing culture and language. The linguistic and grammatical feedback was taken into account when creating the final products.
This project has provided me with multiple unique learning experiences. First, I learned fundamental physical therapy interventions to use with infants throughout their first few years of life. This information will be crucial as I enter into a profession in pediatrics. Additionally, I learned about the importance of making all materials accessible to all members of the population, not only Spanish-speakers. This project showed me that we are far from becoming equal opportunity to healthcare in this country, but we are taking the steps towards tackling health inequalities. After working on this project, my passion for tackling this issue has only increased, and I plan on dedicating my career to this fight for equality. Lastly, I saw how the use of technology can improve learning, accessibility, and understanding. Technology is a valiant tool that can be used to improve the relationship between medical professionals and patients and provide more effective forms of patient education.
Dana McCarty, thank you for your constant support, feedback, and encouragement throughout the past two semesters. It has been a pleasure to work alongside you and to learn from you. Your passion for pediatrics and desire to make a change and improve the healthcare system inspires me to make a difference in my career.
To my committee members, Dr. Govtiz and Dr. Noonan, thank you for your timely responses and attentive feedback. Thank you for taking the time to help me further my education and encouraging me to follow my passions.
To the members of the focus group, thank you for your thoughtful and knowledgeable feedback. Your insight helped to attain our goal of ensuring that these materials are accessible to all.
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