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Communication Barrier With Non-English-Speaking Patients

In our time, society is diverse and multicultural, so new challenges in health care are emerging. That is, nurses are faced with the problem of providing quality care to sufferers of all religions, races, and cultures. Although this is a difficult task, considering that even English-speaking patients find it problematic to use medical terms to understand the doctor or explain their symptoms. Therefore, it is really hard for patients who do not know English or do not speak English well to receive quality therapy (Ali & Watson, 2018). I witnessed when a tourist from Russia in the hospital who could not describe what was disturbing him because he did not have any knowledge of English.

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Thus, it was difficult for the doctors to find out his primary medical condition and provide a treatment plan. At the same time, the communication barrier also makes it challenging for nurses to establish a trusting relationship, especially when there are cultural differences concerning the patient’s perceptions of health and illness (Ian et al., 2016). Moreover, if a sufferer does not speak English fluently and is asked to sign an informed consent for surgery that they do not understand, both legal and moral problems arise.

Thus, it is valuable to look for ways to resolve this situation. For example, the ideal way would be to use the services of a professional interpreter. Thus, depending on the hospitals’ needs, a contract with interpreter cooperation can be concluded (Van Rosse et al., 2016). Another solution is to hire bilingual nurses; in regions with a high number of Russian or Hispanic citizens, a certain number of workers must speak more than one language. Such measures will help to improve the quality of medical services and the professional competence of physicians.

References

Ali, P. A., & Watson, R. (2018). Language barriers and their impact on provision of care to patients with limited English proficiency: Nurses’ perspectives. Journal of clinical nursing, 27(5-6), e1152-e1160. Web.

Ian, C., Nakamura-Florez, E., & Lee, Y. M. (2016). Registered nurses’ experiences with caring for non-English speaking patients. Applied Nursing Research, 30, 257-260. Web.

Van Rosse, F., de Bruijne, M., Suurmond, J., Essink-Bot, M. L., & Wagner, C. (2016). Language barriers and patient safety risks in hospital care. A mixed methods study. International journal of nursing studies, 54, 45-53. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Communication Barrier With Non-English-Speaking Patients'. 1 November.

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