The National Literacy Act Of 1991 Essay

1021 Words Sep 21st, 2015 5 Pages
Literacy is defined in the National Literacy Act of 1991 as “an individual 's ability to read, write, and speak in English, and compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job and in society, to achieve one 's goals, and develop one 's knowledge and potential”(Irwin, 1991, p. 7). I think it is safe to say, when many think of a low literacy individual, it is automatically assumed the person is educationally disadvantaged, mental disabled, and/or non-English speaking. Any of these factors can prevent an individual from reading, speaking, writing, comprehending, and/or retaining the information provided to them. Yes, I agree that these three factors are major reasons individuals are considered to be low literacy. As healthcare providers, we must remember that there are other factors that can prevent an individual from having the ability to read, write, and speak English. Based off personal experience, the four major factors that contribute to a patient being at a low literacy level include poor eyesight, inadequate hearing, educationally disadvantaged, and non-English speaking. I feel it is necessary for a health care provider to take the time to get to know each patient and assess every patients’ level of literacy during the initial visit/time of admission. If the level of literacy is not assessed, the patient 's health could suffer as a result. After working with the geriatric population, I have learned that often geriatric patients…

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