Impacts of Cultural Differences on Establishing Effective Communication and Engagement with the Patient.

Topics: Communication, Health care, Health care provider Pages: 5 (1729 words) Published: October 26, 2012
Impacts of Cultural Differences on Establishing Effective Communication and Engagement with the Patient.



Clear communication is paramount in health care, not only does this applies to individuals, but also to the population. However, in some cases, communication challenges are encountered in this process. These challenges make people more vulnerable to falls, as well as gaps. This paper describes a scenario of how effective communication relies on audience’s culture; I will discuss a specific patient scenario and reflect on how cultural differences may impact on establishing effective engagement and communication with the patient.

Since I am a healthcare provider, and a professional nurse, my duty is to respect and uphold patients’ right to confidentiality. Thus, I have to always ensure individuals are informed on how and why information is shared by those who would be providing their basic care, as well as disclosing information in cases where an individual is deemed to be at risk of any potential harm (Nursing & Midwifery Council 2008). With A view to maintain the patients fundamental right of confidentiality, there is need to avoid using real names of the affected patients. In, this case, my patient is Mrs. P who is a 68 year old lady from India. She is a diabetic patient with poor oral in-take. In recent days, she suffered from a stroke that resulted in dysphasia. She is nursed by bed due to her impaired mobility and unable to stand unsupported. In the particular case of Mrs. P, the major cultural differences are barriers in language. Mrs. P spoke Punjabi and failed to understand Chinese or English. This has made it challenging in providing her the much needed care and has to a larger extent, posed a significant impact on my ability to engage and communicate effectively with her. Following her severe stroke, she now has a slurred speech, and speaks with minimal amount of words. However, she is able to make sense of what is said to her, though, she has some difficulties expressing herself well on some occasions. Mrs. P stopped taking her medications, as well as taking in any food. This compelled us to use his son as an avenue to communicate with her whenever she he was present. This was a time when the interpreter was missing. Using her son was a choice we made owing to the fact that Mrs. P’s son was selective with those to communicate to and it was only her son she chose to give an ear to. At individual level, I could understand what Mrs. P was said, but I couldn’t articulate well her language. I was, thus, forced to act as a one way translator listening to what Mrs. P was said and providing a translation of the words either into Chinese or English for the sake of other colleague nurses. This required effective communication. As nursing team, we had to come up with strategies that would see us implement a variety of interpersonal and communication skills necessary for effective and safe care. According to Helman (2007, p2) Culture is a set of guidelines that individuals tend to inherit as members of a particular society, and which tells them how to view the world, how to experience it emotionally, and how to behave in relation to other people, supernatural forces or gods, and the natural environment. As demonstrated by Mrs. P case, it is essential for nurses to strive to gain the trust and confidence of their patient’s. This is because there is need for nurses to have more continuity of patient care rather than other members of the multi-disciplinary team. Cutcliffe, McKenna (2005) and Long (1999) reported that during treatment, hospital and community patients interact more with nurses than with any other health professional in the multidisciplinary team. According to these researchers, the nurses’ have the most contact with the patients following there lengthy period of time spend with patients. I, therefore, find vital to establish...
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