The quality of interactions between a patient and a healthcare facility, in particular, represents an important issue in healthcare and typically defines health outcomes to a significant extent. A case witnessed recently in a local nursing environment has shown the need for a better cross-cultural approach. Specifically, when managing the needs of an African American female patient, the nurse failed to recognize and address the factors contributing to an increased threat of poor nutrition and the resulting obesity and CVD issues observed in the target population. The insufficient amount of interaction and communication between a patient and a nurse coupled with the failure to tend to patient-specific needs and promote patient education due to the absence of cultural awareness is likely to lead to a significant problem in tending to the patient’s needs.
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To address cross-cultural miscommunication in nurse-patient interactions, considering the situation described above from several conceptual perspectives is needed. This paper will examine a personal situation observed recently in a healthcare setting. The first concept to be considered is that one of collaborative sense-making. Suggested by du Pré and Cook Overton (2021) as an essential part of decision-making in the healthcare context, the notion of collaborative sense-making indicates that a patient can understand the causes of the health issue, the means of addressing it, and the functions that a patient must perform in order to accelerate the process of healing (du Pré& Cook Overton, 2021). Therefore, collaborative sense-making as one of the key goals in managing nurse-patient communication within a healthcare setting is crucial.
Another concept to be connected to the one at hand is the notion of patient socialization. The described factor is vital in understanding the key barriers to health management that the patient has to overcome in order to gain the required services. Du Pré and Cook Overton (2021) emphasize the significance of patient socialization as a factor in shaping the patient’s ability to address certain health threats independently, as well as recognize them and contact healthcare experts in case of need. Therefore, with effective time management strategies, a nurse should focus on understanding and examining the unique, patient-specific factors in order to locate the best way of treating a health issue.
Example & Concepts
Applying the concepts in question to the case under analysis will help see the necessity to rearrange nurses’ cross-cultural education and schedules and introduce new staff members to the target facility in order to improve patient outcomes, respectively. Specifically, the concept of collaborative communication demands that a nurse should have enough time to establish a rapport with a patient and help the latter acquire foundational knowledge about his or her disease and cultural factors affecting it, as well as encourage the patient’s autonomy in identifying key threats and symptoms to be able to contact a healthcare facility in case of a threat. Similarly, the notion of cultural awareness deserves a mentioning since, in the case under analysis, only one nurse showed cultural awareness and was capable of addressing the patient’s needs. In turn, others ignored the patient’s discomfort and emotional distress, which can be explained by a rapid rise in workload and the need to disperse attention between several patients at once.
Overall, the observed case has left mixed impressions. On the one hand, it illustrated the existing problems with healthcare, particularly, the absence of tools for proper patient-nurse communication. On the other hand, the nurses’ willingness to support and understand the patient despite the cultural gap gives hope for the well-being of future generations.
Due to the absence of sufficient time for managing each patients’ needs, as well as challenges in building the understanding of cultures other than the American one, further nurse-patient communication must be established. Moreover, tools for managing the current state of affairs regarding the provision of health services need to be discussed. Thus, nurses and healthcare experts will be able to offer patients the best services available.
du Pré, A., & Cook Overton, B. (2021). Communication about health: Current issues and perspectives (6th ed.). Oxford University Press.
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