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 major influence in their health care practices, expectations of health care and medical decision making. Muslims see God as the dictator and controller of health.
They believe that God decides who develops certain types of cancer, who survives the ordeal and who succumbs to the disease. Their belief that a particular illness is a disease of fate greatly influences how they seek healthcare, if at all. This is because some feel they are destined to suffer while others put all of their faith in prayer. This is why it is crucial for health care providers to be sensitive to the religious beliefs of Muslim Americans. Making an effort to accommodate Muslim patients can be crucial to their health.
It will increase the trust they have for the health care community. This will encourage them to seek health care, as well as be compliant to medical treatments. Certain things to consider are customs such fasting during Ramadan and their adherence to dietary restrictions. It is also important to be sensitive to the needs of females in this community. It is not acceptable for them to be examined by a male doctor. Given them a choice when it comes to gender will encourage them to seek needed health care.
Proper communication skills are key to improving the health care needs of many. This includes disease awareness, along with the prevention and spread of illness. References Padela, A. , Gunter, K. , & Killawi, A. (2011, June). Meeting the Healthcare Needs of American Muslims. I. S. P. U. , (), . Retrieved from http://www. ispu. org Putsch, R. W. (1985, December). The Special Case of Interpreters in Health Care. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 254(23), . Retrieved from
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