Language Barriers In Healthcare Essay

Essay on Language Barriers

653 WordsDec 31st, 20123 Pages

Language Barriers
Communication is an essential part of our day to day lives. We use it in almost everything we do. Although effective communication does not guarantee success, its absence usually assures problems. In the U.S. language barriers can create many problems for non-English speaking immigrants that might include, but are certainly not limited to, difficulty finding employment, difficulty obtaining medical care, and difficulty achieving an education.
Foreign-born workers are increasingly becoming a fundamental part of the community and the local workforce. The inflow of immigrants into the U.S. has provided both an opportunity for and a challenge to employers to fill many different positions. While many foreign-born…show more content…

According to a 2006 study by Glenn Flores, “Even patients who do manage to obtain care can still fall prey to miscommunication.” In one case, a mother misinterpreted the doctors' instructions and put antibiotics that were meant to be taken orally in her child's ears. In another, a doctor who did not fluently speak Spanish interpreted "she hit herself" as "I hit her," which resulted in the mother unfairly losing custody of her children (Barclay, E. 2009).
Language barriers in the classroom have also become a huge problem due to the growing number of immigrant children who do not speak English. Many times non-English speaking students do not get the same educational opportunities as their English speaking peers. This lack of language equality in schools causes these children to be unsuccessful in their education which in turn can affect them in other areas of their lives. In The Circuit, Francisco Jimenez (1997), the son of Mexican immigrant parents, described his first day of school in the U.S. like this, “Mrs. Scalapino started speaking to the class and I did not understand a word she was saying. . .I thought that perhaps by paying close attention, I would begin to understand, but I did not” (p. 17-18).
Language barriers are a major problem in our society today. Our ability to exchange information with others is vital to our success and survival as human beings. We depend on

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The Importance Of Effective Communication In Health Care

Language barriers have been one of the identified causes of many health problems, including timely and appropriate care, exacerbating existing conditions, and precipitating new ones. In addition to culturally appropriate education, interpreting is one of the approaches commonly used to help bridge the language gap for patients and practitioners. Interpreters are bilingual individuals that provide simultaneous interpretation between patients and medical care providers who do not share a common language (Finke, Light, & Kitko, 2008). This finding suggests that a good relationship is essential for high-quality patient care. (Finke et al., 2008) use qualitative evidence from interviews with medical interpreters, and argue that an interdisciplinary team is oriented in just one direction to care for patients, and bring them to their ultimate level of functioning. Certainly, all of the observations provided by this journal reaffirmed how understanding the basic principles of communication should be a paramount skill of any nurse. However, many barriers can disrupt therapeutic communication, and comprehensive assessment is necessary in order to determine the culture, religion, education background, and socioeconomic status of the patient (Finke et al., 2008) Patient centered communication empower nurses with the necessary skills to identify what patients are experiencing and place them in a better position to be empathetic.
Meanwhile, creating a better health care experience for the patient and a more gratifying and meaningful career for the nurse (Finke et al., 2008). It is also more likely to effectively encourage patients to be active partners in planning and managing their own care. It is significant for medical care providers, while pursuing illness, treatment, to also considering the patients’ opinions, and psychological status by using appropriate therapeutic communication techniques according to the situation (Finke et al., 2008). Likewise, the author considers “that patient-centered communication skills are not inherent and must be acquired” (Finke et al., 2008). The ability to enter into to patients’ experiences to recognize them precisely and to appreciate how the condition is perceived from the patient’s perspective is absolutely central in effective communication and to improve patient safety (Finke et al., 2008). This literature makes clear that in order to function efficiently in the effective communication, nurses must be knowledgeable and competent individuals, who active listening, to meet patient’s need. The publication named improving “Patient Provider Communication” argues that nurse must have the talent to express themselves encompassing both verbally and nonverbally aspect, and their message must also be echoing in the patient (2009). The communication should not be terminate until the patient translate the massage back to its sender. Consequently, effective communication is accomplished when patients are able to...

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