A Communication Barrier with Arabic Client

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A Communication Barrier with Arabic Client

Teressa M Dutko

Purdue University Calumet

A Communication Barrier with Arabic Client

There are a variety of cultures who immigrate into the United States with several not learning the English language. Many of these people do not have the resources to learn English and have no one with the time or inclination to teach them. This can create biases for a healthcare provider and makes caring for the non-English speaking patient very challenging. However, it's my responsibility as a nurse to ensure that the clients entrusted to my care understand what is being done for them (or to them); it becomes the nurse’s responsibility to be proactive. In the paragraphs to follow, I am going to discuss and analyze an incident in which I had difficulty communicating with a client whose primary language was Arabic. I was notified I was going to receive a patient from the emergency room as a new admission. I was unaware there was a communication barrier until the patient arrived onto the floor. Upon arrival to the floor, the patient and family were conversing in a different language. I immediately recognized there was a communication barrier. I was already feeling overwhelmed from an extremely busy day and felt inconvenienced because now I had to locate the translator phone, and the two-way connector. I also felt frustrated when trying to do a complete assessment over a translator phone. It became very challenging when having to explain to an Arabic patient that I must put a catheter up his urethra and into his bladder, or why we are starting an IV, or putting an NG tube in his stomach. It was difficult to immediately develop a trusting and safe relationship with my patient due to the language barrier. I could tell my patient was feeling my frustration and at that point I knew I had to try to decrease my patient’s and family members stress level and make sure they knew I was going to provide the best care for them....
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