Intercultural Communication in Healthcare

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INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION IN YOUR CHOSEN FIELD

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 Bruijnzeels, 2002). Communicative misunderstandings between patient and provider can lead to simple dissatisfaction, misdiagnosis, lack of any medical care, or even death. Ineffective intercultural communication can also lead to stress for health care providers, causing anxiety, being puzzled, and job dissatisfaction. Our medical staff must be trained to become competent intercultural communicators so that they can provide better care to our increasingly diverse population, and so that they become less stressed about their jobs. I don’t know about you, but I certainly would want my surgeon to be relaxed and not anxious about their job. Some recommendations that were suggested to health care workers are, that the provider should have training on appropriate use of an interpreter, use pictures to explain concepts to patients, demonstrate via body language but avoid use of common gestures as they may have different cultural meanings, and schedule longer appointments with patients who may have language or cultural barriers so that the interaction is not rushed. The health care providers can also conduct cultural assessments,…...

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