Intercultural Communication in Healthcare Essay

1877 Words Sep 21st, 2014 8 Pages

Intercultural Communication - Comm. 4002-E90

In the health care setting, medical interactions require effective communication between health care providers and patients. The achievement of having effective communication; is complicated by a variety of situational factors including cultural issues. Intercultural communication is an essential component in the healthcare field. It is very unknown if the health care professionals communicate effectively with the ethnic minority patients. Not only are there language difficulties, but also cultural differences such as beliefs and understanding of the disease may result in problems in intercultural communication. (Van, Harmsen and
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The staff needs to have the understanding of what cultural competence is. Cultural competence is for people to increase their knowledge and understanding of cultural differences, have the ability to acknowledge cultural assumptions and biases, and have the willingness to make changes in thought and behavior to address those biases. A culturally competent facility demonstrates empathy and understanding of cultural differences in treatment design, implementation, and evaluation. (Prasad and Darrad, 2003). The staff must have the knowledge of or sensitivity to the patient’s first language and know treatment methods that reflect the culture-specific values and treatment needs of the patients. It is important for healthcare providers to understand that cultural competence requires a personal commitment, significant involvement, and have an open minded attitude toward other cultures. Just a few weeks ago, I had a Hispanic patient that I was supposed to do a treatment with. She didn’t understand any English. Luckily, I found a nurse who could translate for us. The patient was then fine with proceeding with the treatment. I am very glad that we had someone available to help in this situation. I know that our hospital has a translator but she only works during the day. I am unaware if she only translates for one language or multiple languages. Since the hospital is 24/7, I don’t understand how correct it is to not

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