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Healthcare Provision and Role of Culture

Multicultural Communication

Multicultural communication refers to the interaction of people from different cultures (Zimmermann, 2017). Its origin can be traced back to the civilization era when people who were confined within particular regions started to explore other parts as they travel and conduct trade activities.

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Culture, Ethnicity, and Acculturation

Culture entails the visible and the invisible attributes exercised by people who reside together. It includes the food they eat, their religion, language, norms, values, customs, and beliefs. Ethnicity forms part of culture; it refers to the way people express the visible attributes of culture in terms language, religion, and nationality. According to Cole (2019), acculturation is also derived from culture and denotes a learning process where an individual sets out to embrace a different culture away from their own culture.

Cultural and Religious Differences

Culture influences the way people perceive health including their belief in causes of illnesses, the preferred type of treatment, as well as the places from which they choose to seek medical assistance (Zimmermann, 2017). On its part, religion helps to improve the health outcomes of patients since it is associated with greater believe in healing. Highly religious people are positive and resilient towards illness.

Culture and its Effect on Patient Education

Family culture has a profound impact on a patient’s health understanding. Different families have their unique beliefs on health matters including the causes of illnesses, preferable treatment options, and the person best suited to provide healthcare services to them (Zimmermann, 2017). It is important that nurses are trained to appreciate the cultural effect on health because it will help them to earn trust and be accepted across different societies.

Approaches to Religious and Cultural Diversity

It is important that nurses appreciate the role of culture in influencing provision of healthcare. This can be realized by:

  • Enhancing their communication skills to overcome the burden of language barrier
  • Nurses should aspire to build good rapport with the patients
  • Accept the cultural diversity that exists in the global society
  • Being good at listening

Types of Illiteracy

Illiteracy can be stated as the inability of a person to perform basic education functions, mainly reading. Flavo (2011) outlines different types of illiteracy including:

  • Functional illiteracy
  • Moral illiteracy
  • Cultural illiteracy

Illiteracy as a Disability

Illiteracy can be regarded as a disability if a patient is impaired physically or mentally to the extent that they may not be able to effectively read, learn or communicate (Flavo, 2011). However, economic, cultural, or social causes of illiteracy do not amount to a disability.

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Myths about Illiteracy

The three myths about illiteracy include:

  • Myth 1: There are no people who cannot read in the 21st century. The truth is that there are millions of people who are not able to read
  • Myth 2: All kids born in the 21st century are able to read and write. The truth is that children struggle to read at the basic level
  • Myth 3: There is no need of caring for illiterate people. The truth is that illiterate people encounter more health challenges that call for immediate action

Literacy Skills

Literacy skills and readability of written material can be assessed through various ways. The assessment may involve administering a standardized formal examination. Teachers can also use informal ways especially for students who need close attention (Flavo, 2011). Readability of written material can be evaluated through using various techniques, such as the SMOG formula.

Ways to Effective Communication

Healthcare professionals can enhance their communication through being good listeners, showing empathy in understanding others, using non-verbal communication cues, and through teamwork (Flavo, 2011). The four elements will enable the professional to be a good communicator.

Ways to Help a Patient Remember Instructions

Patients often forget instructions issued by the healthcare professional, therefore it is important that they encourage the patients to note down critical information regarding their condition (Flavo, 2011). In addition, the professional can require patients to take advantage of technology and communicate with them virtually.


Zimmermann, K.A. (2017). What is culture? Web.

Cole, N.L. (2019). Understanding acculturation and why it happens. Web.

Flavo, D. (2011). Effective patient education: A guide to increased adherence. 4th ed. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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