Cultural Considerations in Patient Communication
Repository Posting Date2016-09-16T14:23:12Z
Author(s)Birkmire, April E.
Author DetailsApril E. Birkmire.com
Lead Author Sigma AffliationNon-member
Session presented on Sunday, September 18, 2016: The Cultural Considerations in Patient Communication study is a prospective study that utilizes a tool containing phrases frequently used during health assessments. The health assessment tool was translated into Haitian Creole for use by Chamberlain College of Nursing students and volunteers in mobile clinics around Leogane, Haiti. It is essential for the health care team to show respect for cultural differences and to acknowledge values, beliefs, and language of the host country (Byrne, Collins, & Martelly, 2014). The health assessment tool incorporates the language of the host country while respecting cultural differences in order to overcome the language barrier. The tool was utilized to facilitate communication when there was not an available translator or when the translator did not understand what was being asked. The health assessment tool has English to Haitian Creole translations printed on the cards along with a picture depicting what the pre-licensure nurse or volunteer would like to assess on the patient. Some examples include a picture of a nurse listening to the heart, taking the pulse, and a pain scale. Other cards address drinking and smoking habits. Patients can point to a range of numbers to choose the duration of the habit and how many packs or drinks a day are consumed. Most importantly, patients can be asked discretely if they feel safe at home with options for pointing to yes or no. Questions are closed ended since open ended questions require the student nurse to understand the patient's native language. The tool may assist with privacy when patients are triaged in an open area with multiple patients in the vicinity (Byrne et al., 2014). For the purpose of this study a satisfaction tool was used to measure the ease of use, patient privacy, the student's comfort using the tool, if the tool improved communication, if patients responded appropriately and if more information was disclosed when using the health assessment tool. Overall, Chamberlain College of Nursing students found the health assessment tool to be easy to use, were comfortable using, noted increased privacy, received an appropriate response from patients, improved communication with patients and would use the health assessment tool again. Tools like this could be used on other international trips with questions catered to different health issues that are common in that area.