Integration of Change in Verbal/nonverbal communication for patient care across cultures Introduction Culture entails the learned beliefs, values, norms and ways in which life affects people's decisions, actions, and thinking in life…
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Most of nurses and other professionals lack the required knowledge and skills on how to handle the needs of people from different cultural background from their own backgrounds. Communication is another obstacle which cross-cultural care encounters face. Communication is very important concerning quality nursing care and patient satisfaction. Nurses should take enough time when communicating with patients because communication is the only way that nurses can obtain information from patients, identify their needs, and communicate back to them. If there is poor communication, the patients will be dissatisfied with the amount of care provided by their nurses. Communication is not that simple, as it needs the interpretation of facial expressions, body language, speech, gestures, assumptions, and tones, which are shared by those who are communicating. The nurses might be skilled in interpreting the factors above but the professional language used by the nurses will be difficult for patients to understand, nurses will have to simplify complex terms to avoid many problems (Pawlikowska et al, 2012, p.74). Patients who are immigrants and are not fluent in the language of the country they live will face problems. Language problems will prevent immigrant patients from accessing health care owing to their difficulty to communicate their needs to the health professionals, cannot inquire for the available services, and cannot understand the treatment they require. Because of communication problem in the patient and nurses who are not speaking the same language, leads to poor quality of health care and insufficient information exchange. Because of cross-cultural problems, nurses try to bring in some strategies such that they can communicate with patients from different cultural backgrounds. They relied on relatives to interpret what the patients are communicating to the nurses. This is seen as the last resort because it might take time to look for an accredited interpreter; nurses are not confident during the interpretation process and financial problems on employing interpreters. In some circumstances where the nurses do not find someone who speaks the language of the patient, they opt for other aids and strategies like picture cards. It has become necessary for the nurses to learn skills of tackling their patients with respect to their varied cultural backgrounds. Due to lack of common language between the nurse and the patient, problems accrued. The nurses fear that they might risk in giving limited information when explaining procedures to the patients. Sometimes they might felt that they have communicated well to the patient but some important information might have been omitted. This made the health care to be impersonal and the nurse blamed as failing the patient. In addition, they can widen their understanding on other people's cultures by socializing with clients and fellow workers. Health behavior- Health behaviors like sources of health related knowledge; health related lifestyle and the use of preventive health care is mostly affected by cultural values and preferences. Cultural social stereotypes, relations, and processes affect interactions with health providers – intergroup relations and interactions between individuals. Acceptability of health care – cultural knowledge and familiarity of health care systems affects the acceptability of health care. Different countries use health care systems, which may be unfamiliar with foreigners, and discourages health care use.
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