The significance of adequate patient-practitioner communication in delivering high-quality care is well carried out. Good communication is associated with patient satisfaction, better compliance with treatment suggestions, and improved health results.
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Melissa Discussion Post: ↓
The significance of adequate patient-practitioner communication in delivering high-quality care is well carried out. Good communication is associated with patient satisfaction, better compliance with treatment suggestions, and improved health results. It is considered, but not proven, that the elements of communication that acknowledge and consider dissimilarities between practitioners and patients–particularly concerning culture, ethnicity, and beliefs–play a critical function in reducing racial and ethnic disparities in the quality of care (Brooks et al., 2019).
Culturally intelligent communication refers to articulating cognition and proficiency of healthcare disparities, understanding that sociocultural aspects mainly affect health beliefs and behaviors, and having the knacks to address these factors adequately. When applied to healthcare, culturally competent communication is not simply a feature of the patient-practitioner meeting. It also is the quality of the healthcare institution (e.g., office, clinic, hospital) and the more comprehensive system in which care is funded and supplied (Parker et al., 2020).
Fostering culturally competent communication at the provider, care institution, health plan, and national levels is feasible to donate to success. Also, asking questions of healthcare providers is not proper behavior in some cultures. Patients from these cultures may be less likely to ask clarifying questions and, after that, may not understand their condition or be able to follow their treatment plan, potentially resulting in a lower quality of care or even medical error. Also, many patients use traditional remedies and may be unwilling to disclose to their biomedical providers about them, leading to potentially dangerous interchanges between medication prescribed by the two types of providers (Brooks et al., 2019).
When patients and providers speak the same native language, patients are more likely to convey positive physical and mental health outcomes. Alternatively, patients’ inability to express themselves in their native language could usher in delays in care, fewer or missed appointments, non-adherence to therapy, and medical blunders. Practitioners may further complicate receiving quality care if they cannot understand patients’ health complaints with restricted English proficiency. Absent adequate translation resources, patients’ relatives or hospital staff may be asked to translate (Parker et al., 2020).
However, numerous studies have documented problems with this approach, varying from mistranslation to patient hesitance to disclose critical but sensitive information in the presence of a family member. Everyone has a culture, and providers’ cultural backgrounds may affect their communication in the care delivery process if they cannot determinate or accept disparities between themselves and their patients. This may manifest subtly in communication practices sensed by the patient or may subconsciously affect clinical decision-making (Parker et al., 2020).
Healthcare institutions also have possibilities for culturally competent communication with their patients and the residents they serve. Some organizations aspire to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable seeking care; others send subtle messages that some patients are unwelcome. The former statement is more likely to be transferred when an institution’s workforce formatting reflects the patient population they serve. Establishments may state their cultural competency by not providing sufficient (or any) language translation services. This situation may emerge in hospitals located in states that do not reimburse them for translation services, hospitals unfamiliar with the fact that recipients of federal funds are needed to deliver translation services, or hospitals ignorant of their patient’s needs (Brooks et al., 2019).
Olga Discussion Post ↓
The importance of effective communication that promotes cultural competence
As healthcare professionals, we are bound to interact with patients from diverse backgrounds and cultures. As advanced nursing practitioners, communication is key when developing a trusting relationship with patients, and in many instances, there are obstacles that can hinder the process, such as language barriers, religious beliefs, and cultural practices. According to Harrison et al., (2019) cultural competence promotion within healthcare organizations requires identifying and documenting disparities within different racial and ethnic groups, developing programs that promote culturally and linguistically competent care, and promoting diversity among healthcare staff. The purpose of this discussion is to highlight the process by which advanced nurse practitioners can better prepare to provide qualified care for diverse populations (Liu et al., 2022).
Communication and cultural awareness
Cultural awareness requires professionals to self-examine their own cultural background, learning how one’s own biases and values shape perspectives and perceptions of people from unfamiliar cultures. An ongoing process of cultural competence requires an open attitude, a desire to learn from other cultures, cultural skills, and cultural knowledge. A patient-centered approach that considers diversity leads to increased engagement and positive outcomes (Harrison et al., 2019). With increased diversity, cultural differences influencing delivery of care can contribute to health disparities, as lack of cultural competence may lead to poor communication between patients and healthcare providers due to a lack of awareness of the patients’ belief systems and preferred communication styles. For nurse practitioners to strengthen their critical thinking skills and thrive in complex cultural settings, clinical training must be based on multicultural practice and learning key differences among patients of different backgrounds (Liu et al., 2022).
Role of communication overcoming language barriers
Over the years, the number of patients who are not proficient in English has dramatically increased, leading to an increased need for advanced practitioners to learn effective forms of communication with patients. Language barriers have negative impacts on care, as they affect comprehension and understanding between patient and provider, and lead to less adherence to treatments, lower satisfaction reported, and an increase in adverse effects. A clinician’s own bias towards certain races or ethnic groups can also increase stigma and stereotyping, which in turn decreases level of commitment, trust, and decreased participation of patients in the decision-making process (Wasserman et al., 2019). Preferences also play a role in forms of communication that should consider how certain cultures rely on non-verbal cues, styles of conversation, and preferred modes of information delivery that are helpful in establishing good rapport and improved quality of care for patients and their families (Brooks et al., 2019).
Cultural competence and family involvement in patient care
Another factor that must be considered when communicating with culturally diverse populations is the involvement of family members, and the importance some of them place on having relatives take part in the decision-making process when faced with health-related issues. The importance placed on older generations as a source of wisdom shapes the attitudes towards healthcare of individuals from other parts of the world where care giving practices often begin by using home or folk remedies before seeking help from formally trained clinicians. (Brooks et al., 2019).
In general, advanced nurse practitioners receive better culturally competent communication training due to the nature of the work involved, as many will fulfill the role of primary care providers in a variety of healthcare settings (Liu et al., 2022). The need to adapt to these changes should be taken into consideration in future studies to increase understanding of the factors affecting further educational needs to improve communication in a culturally competent environment.