Communication Barriers in Health Care

Communication Barriers in Health Care - Running head:...

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Running head: OVERCOMING COMMUNICATION BARRIERS 1 Overcoming Communication Barriers Joann E. Myers HCA 230 May 29, 2011 Chong Daleiden
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OVERCOMING COMMUNICATION BARRIERS 2 Overcoming Communication Barriers Extensive literature is available that documents language, cultural, and other communication barriers in health care. This paper will educate the reader on common misconceptions in the health care field as well as educate the reader on ways to overcome common communication barriers, and strengthen their communication skills with health care providers. This paper will focus on one patient in particular; Lena, who is a college student from Southeast Asia and has lived in the United States for the past 10 years. Lena was in class when she suddenly, and without warning, fainted in class. After she woke up in the Emergency Room (ER), she yelled at Susie, her best friend, for bring her to the hospital. Lena explained to Susie that she was not weak, and she thought she was able to receive better care on her own. Lena immediately began to think of the huge hospital bill she was acquiring and started to get out of bed. Susie notified a medical aide, who believed she was too busy to be bothered by patient who didn’t really want her help. The aide came hastily came into Lena’s room and scolded her, telling Lena that she didn’t have time to babysit anyone today; Lena was sick, and she would just have to wait to speak with the doctor. Immediately after that, the doctor came into the room, calmly tried to explain to Lena what the test has reviled, and paused a moment to see if she had any questions. Lena was in shock, as she sat there with a blank stare on her face she started sweating trying to process all the information the doctor just threw at her. The doctor got upset with Lena’s unresponsiveness, and before Lena could say anything the doctor abruptly left the room. A person’s culture plays a substantive role shaping his or her individual beliefs on what defines an illness, and how they should go about treating particular illnesses. Many cultures are leery of Western medicine, those practicing Western medicine, and the numerous testing options
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OVERCOMING COMMUNICATION BARRIERS 3 and machines that are utilized in today’s world. Normally, when a person is unsure of something it can lead to noncompliance, as well as it could cause them to be late, or miss appointments altogether. Payments can also be difficult to understand for many of those from Eastern cultures, as they may be used to payment in the form of food, animals, or services, and Western medicine requires monetary payment, or government assistance. Lena’s culture has taught her to be quiet, and not to question authority, which is evident in her reluctance to ask questions, even when given the chance. Lena was also still in shock over being brought to the ER, even if her health was at stake and she could not speak for herself at the time. Lena’s caregiver, the ER doctor, obviously was not well versed in Southeastern Asia
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This note was uploaded on 11/26/2011 for the course HCA 220 taught by Professor James during the Spring '08 term at University of Phoenix.

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Communication Barriers in Health Care - Running head:...

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