Integration of Change in Verbal and Nonverbal Communication for Patient Care Across Cultures – Care Example

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"Integration of Change in Verbal and Nonverbal Communication for Patient Care Across Cultures" is a marvelous example of a paper on care. Culture entails the learned beliefs, values, norms, and ways in which life affects people's decisions, actions, and thinking in life. Many challenges exist in communication when working with people from different cultures. Nurses face many problems when dealing with patients who migrated from different cultural backgrounds. Nurses need to learn and adapt to various strategies on how to respond to their patients. Most of the 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 that 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 in 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 about the available services, and cannot understand the treatment they require. Because communication problems 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 a lack of common language between the nurse and the patient, problems accrued.

The nurses fear that they might risk 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 of 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 are 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. Language and cultural barriers are among challenges facing health care access and quality. A large and rapidly growing foreign-born population has influenced Cultural and language diversity in many countries. Because of educating health, providers there will be an area of improvement in communication with culturally diverse patients.

In addition, residents should be educated in family practice on the cultural importance of family systems. As a result, residents reported benefits from their own experience in terms of better awareness and recognition of family cultural issues in patient care. Individuals who underwent multicultural training responded with greater awareness and knowledge that could help in improving communication. The public warrants education on the significance of western health care facilities as this will help them in reducing barriers of communication and infections.

Cultural diverse patients should be educated about their health and health care through cultural health promotions. This will encourage many patients to embrace quality health care, and thereby will improve the effectiveness of their communication with doctors. The programs also contained evaluation components on the efficiency of different efforts that enhances the accessibility and quality of healthcare. Patient satisfaction will be of high quality when there is clear communication between the health experts and the patients. Implementation – The Change Process The effectiveness of physician-patient communication is increased by effective use of language services and availability particularly interpreter services.

Other important language services are translated materials like brochures with health care information. To improve physician-patient communication will depend on the adequacy and quality of language services. Physician interaction style- there are three types of physician interaction styles: physician centeredness- this is where the physician interacts in a paternal doctor style. The effectiveness of this style is low, as the patients will few opportunities to ask questions or to speak.

To increase the effectiveness the physician should interact in an egalitarian patient-centered style (Maljaars et al, 2011, p. 612). Effective Behavior and Physician Instrumental: moderate to high levels of physician and effective behavior will increase communication effectiveness but when they are low, the communication effectiveness will be low automatically. Various strategies should be employed by health care organizations to improve access and communication between patients and doctors. Translation of written materials and interpretation services are among the language services, which should be employed. In addition, to improve the communication between patients and physicians who speak different languages, increased use of signage and health providers should be considered.

Trained interpreters will improve patient-physician communication by eliminating inaccuracies and increasing communication. Funds should be channeled to safety net grant programs through migrant health clinics, community, and partners with foundations and non-profit making organizations to improve the health care of minority and underserved groups. Integration – Methods of Change The gaps will make the organization provide inadequate communication to patients and other groups, which leads to poor health outcomes, long-term problems for the health care organization, and health care disparities.

These gaps can be bridged by motivating direct health care providers in providing them with healthcare-related services like pharmaceuticals, insurance, and other health care products or even other forms of customer care services (Hannawa, 2011p. 346). Patient-centered communication is very important, as it will help the physician and the patient to discuss the illness and treat. This will help the doctor to get sufficient information about the illness and it will be easy when it comes to treatment. Patient-centered communications will those with health literacy because they have poor health status and self-reported health.

In addition, health literate will have less understanding of their health and medical conditions and this leads to limited knowledge on the use of preventive services. Moreover, it can be tiresome, since nurses will spend more time attending to individual patients. In addition, the management can resist the changes, as they will incur more costs in educating the doctors to improve their skills such they can communicate with the patients without encountering problems. In addition, more costs will be incurred to employ more staff like interpreters who will act in between the physician and the patient.

The nursing staff should provide translated materials to facilitate the training of patients. The management should make efforts to identify and bridge the gaps in communication between the workforce, the population it serves, and the organization as a whole. Conclusion Communication should be taken as an integral part of the organizational efforts, which may include quality services and improvement, patient safety, and meet the accredited requirements. Plans should be initiated for collaborating with the community, document translation, interpreter services, cross-cultural training, and health literacy.

Although the doctors use various strategies to improve communication, they found themselves in situations that they could not communicate effectively which led to dissatisfaction in the caring experience. In addition, another problem, they lacked the skills and confidence to communicate and attend to patients. Communication between patient and physician is advantageous to health care when it is effective. When the patient and the doctor are speaking different languages, it will be a problem to achieve effective communication.


Hannawa, F. (2011). Shedding light on the dark side of doctor-patient interactions: Verbal and nonverbal messages physicians communicate during error disclosures. Journal of Patient Education & Counseling, Vol. 84 (3), p344-351.

Maljaars, J., Noens, J., Rianne, S. E., Van Berckelaer-Onnes, I. (2011). Intentional communication in nonverbal and verbal low-functioning children with autism. Journal of Communication Disorders, Vol. 44 (6), p601-614.

Pawlikowska, T., Zhang, W., Griffiths, F., Van Dalen, J., Van der Vleuten, C. (2012). Verbal and non-verbal behavior of doctors and patients in primary care consultations – How this relates to patient enablement. Journal of Patient Education & Counseling, Vol. 86 (1), p70-76.

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