Overcoming Barriers

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MODULE

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Overcoming Communication Barriers
MODULE OVERVIEW
Being able to effectively communicate—or participate in the exchange of information—is an essential skill for dental health care providers. For many dental health care providers in the United States today, providing patient-centered care involves learning to communicate effectively with patients even when various barriers to communication are present. This module presents strategies for effectively communicating with: • Patients who speak a different language than that of the dental health care provider • Patients with culturally influenced health behaviors that differ from the health care beliefs of the dental clinician • Young and school age children • Adolescents • Older adults • Vision, hearing, or speech impaired individuals

MODULE OUTLINE
SECTION 1

Language Barriers
Cross-Cultural Communication Cultural Competence

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SECTION 2

Age Barriers
Communicating with Children Communicating with Adolescents Communicating with Older Adults

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SECTION 3

Vision and Hearing Barriers
Communication with the Visually Impaired Communication with the Hearing Impaired

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SECTION 4

Speech Barriers
Communication with the Speech Impaired Communication when the Voice Impaired

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SECTION 5

Ready References
Internet Resources: Cultural Competence Internet Resources: Hearing and Vision Impairment

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Internet Resources: Voice and Speech Impairment English–Spanish Medical Dictionaries Module References SECTION 6 SECTION 7 SECTION 8

The Human Element Quick Questions Skill Check
Communication Skill Checklist: Communications Role-Play

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SKILL GOALS
• Explain how the U.S. population has changed between 1980 and 2000 and describe how these changes affect dental health care. • Give an example of how cultural differences could affect communication. • Define cultural competence. • Discuss effective communication techniques for interacting with patients from different cultures. • Discuss strategies that you can use to improve communication with a child. • Discuss strategies that you can use to improve communication with an adolescent. • Discuss strategies that you can use to improve communication with older adults. • Discuss strategies that you can use to improve communication with visually, hearing-, and speech-impaired patients.

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PATIENT ASSESSMENT TUTORIALS: A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR THE DENTAL HYGIENIST

SECTION 1 LANGUAGE BARRIERS
CROSS-CULTURAL COMMUNICATION Multiculturalism
• For many dental health care providers in the United States today, providing patientcentered care involves learning to communicate effectively with patients from nonEnglish–speaking communities and with cultural backgrounds that may be unfamiliar. • The United States has always had a significant foreign-born population, but the number of foreign born reached an all-time high of 32.5 million in 2002—equal to 11.5% of the U.S. population—according to the Current Population Survey (CPS) .[1] • The Canadian 2001 population census indicates that 18.5% of the population in Canada is foreign-born. • More than one-half of the 2002 foreign-born residents in the United States were born in Latin America—with 30% from Mexico alone. • 26% were born in Asia, 14% in Europe, and 8% in Africa and other regions. • 2000 Census data show that over 47 million persons speak a language other than English at home, up nearly 48% since 1990. Although the majority are able to speak English, over 21 million speak English less than “very well,” up 52% from 14 million in 1990.[2,3] • By the year 2030, the Census Bureau predicts that 60% of the U.S. population will self-identify as white, non-Hispanic, and 40% will self-identify as members of other diverse racial and ethnic groups. Being...
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