Cross Cultural Communication

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Cross-Cultural Communication

“Communication in health care is a complex issue. Language and cultural barriers complicate the situation. Language is the framework in which the world view of a culture is molded, and it describes the boundaries and perspectives of a cultural system. A language barrier disarms a communicant's ability to assess meanings, intent, emotions, and reactions and creates a state of dependency on the individual who holds the keys to the entire process” (Putsch, 1985, para. 1 ). It is common for Patients in minority populations to receive a lower quality of care. Much of this is contributed to cultural communication barriers. Part of the solution maybe to incorporate the six principles of cross-cultural communication in order to communicate effectively. Differences in worldviews, values, and communication styles can all contribute to misunderstandings. We must also take into consideration that most breakdowns in communication are often attributed to cultural differences. This may lead a person to use caution when speaking to someone that does not share their cultural beliefs. This includes non-verbal as well as verbal communication. Cross cultural communication also requires an understanding of a groups “do’s and taboos” and is respectful of them. This may include removing your shoes before entering ones home or understanding cultural meal etiquette. If you frequently communicate with a certain cultural group or race of people, learning about their variations in communication style will increase your understanding of that group. This is particular important when it comes to health care. I found interest in the cultural differences of Muslim Americans (part of Middle Eastern culture). When considering the healthcare needs of American Muslim patients, require open minded views from health care providers when it comes to religious practice, rituals, and traditions. Religious values and beliefs are important to this community. They are a...
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