When Colette Foisy-Doll arrived in Qatar last year
University of Calgary, Qatar
Bachelor of Nursing Program
When Colette Foisy-Doll arrived in Qatar last year to develop a simulation
and clinical laboratory on a fast track for the University of Calgary’s
Bachelor of Nursing Program there, she had to negotiate a complex and
fascinating cultural frontier to cultivate trust in both her new business
partners and her nursing students.
“The faculty of the school were all ex-patriots, and as such we arrive with
our own cultural egocentrism,” she said. “As Westerners, we go right for the
dot in the middle. In the Arab world, you start at the outside and work in.
It’s all about getting to know people, and you have to build in time for that.”
In such a highly charged social context, she anticipates that simulation
education will be indispensible for building bridges and sharing knowledge.
“In Islam there are many cultural norms and expectations around touch,
exposure of the body and gender contact,” Foisy-Doll explained. “Modesty
and the dignity of the body are very important. Simulation is perfect
because I can have all of these students engaging together in an environment
where person-to-person contact is no longer an issue. The simulator
is neutral ground, and we can disrobe the simulator.”