Our goal is to facilitate the intercultural opening of Berlin hospitals. To do so, we enter a dialogue with staff members of hospitals, starting with the Charité and Vivantes hospitals, which are owned by the Berlin state. We want to find out where there are structural barriers in the health care system and how these barriers can be adressed. Together, we explore needs and wishes concerning the intercultural opening and the process towards it. We aim at creating a network between all involved parties – in hospitals, politics and administration. We focus on informing, strengthening and motivating the actors of diverse professional groups.
To do so, the following steps are planned:
We conduct explorative expert interviews with staff members of Charité and Vivantes Clinics and inquire obstacles and wishes concerning the intercultural opening. Amongst other things, these conversations will be about experiences and barriers in working with language mediators.
Facilitating the process of intercultural opening
We will attend team meetings in different disciplines, regularly inform on topics related to the intercultural opening and act as advisors when it comes to questions regarding the intercultural opening in daily hospital routine.
Based on the inventory we will offer further training which strengthens skills and self-reflection of staff members. It is our goal to facilitate a solidary encounter in daily clinical practice without denying crucial differences. This will be rendered possible by working together with the already existing network of TransVer.
Making practical instruments available
We aim at making existing practical strategies and experiences available within hospitals and beyond. For this purpose, we collect available instruments and documents which can contribute to the intercultural opening in daily health care practice. This can include translated educational or informational documents, pictograms or practice guidelines on working with interpreters. Where there are no standards established yet, we develop proposals on strategies which could enable intercultural opening in practical contexts.
Policy recommendations & public relations
Finally, a round of experts will devise action recommendations and guidelines. These will be made available to a wide public. Presumably in 2021, there will be a two-day conference in Berlin on the topic of intercultural opening of hospitals in Germany.
TransVer – neXus has developed from the multifaceted experiences of the project TransVer, the resource network for the intercultural opening.
Find out more about our vision, our self-conception and our understanding of culture in our mission statement.
Our mission Statement – what we stand for
We understand culture as a process in which people characterize, construe and interpret their surroundings and in this way, give them meaning. The term “culture” comes from Latin colere – care, and from cultura and cultus – agriculture, cultivation and care of the ground. Culture indicates something man-made, something which is always in flux – and is therefore distinguished from nature and the naturally preexisting.
People’s individual identity consists of diverse cultural affiliation. In this sense, cultures are networked, interlaced entities which pervade individuals and vice versa are pervaded by them. This focus on the transformative character, the hybrid and the fluid in the term “culture” leads our understanding of intercultural opening of hospitals. We advocate an open self-reflection on the imagined “Other” and a continuous process of questioning determined ideas of self and other.
In practical contexts of the intercultural opening, there is often a one-sided focus on cultural differences and migration. However, people experience discrimination in hospitals not only based on their migration background, but also because their living circumstances are entwined with other dimensions of social inequality such as educational opportunities, income, gender, disability or sexuality. As soon as alleged cultural otherness is overemphasized, there is the danger that multiple discriminations or structural shortages become invisible.
We want to enter a dialogue on the intercultural opening with actors of Berlin hospitals, beginning with Berlin state-owned clinics (Charité and Vivantes). On a structural level, we want to identify barriers which impede access, develop concrete strategies to dismantle these barriers and form alliances within and between support and care structures. Additionally, we will establish further training offers which strengthen self-reflection practices of staff members so that encounters and solidarity can be facilitated without denying crucial differences.
The term neXus, latin nectere – tie, link, interconnect, stands for
- the interlacing of different axes of social inequality in an intersectional perspective – symbolized by the capital X – with respect to the health care system in Berlin hospitals
- the connection and interlacing of diverse cultural affiliations within individuals (see our understanding of culture)
- the linking of knowledge and existing resources
As indicated by the connection to “next”, neXus aspires to become a catalyst for the next step in long standing debates on the intercultural opening of the health care system.