Cultural Barriers In Nursing

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For the purpose of this assignment the student will critique video A ‘interpreting the message’ and discuss the issue of language barriers and patient interpretation in delivering culturally sensitive care from the view point of the healthcare professional. The student will discuss these issues in relation to cultural competence, cultural awareness and cultural knowledge.
Ireland nowadays is a culturally diverse country. With approximately 160 different nationalities now living in Ireland, cultural diversity and its implications play a key part in the day to day life of Irish nurses (World of Irish Nursing, 2003). Cultural Knowledge and cultural awareness are vital for a health care professionals in today’s culturally diverse society. Healthcare
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Figures in 2009 indicate that 420,000 foreign nationals are now living in Ireland, making up just over 10% of the population and speaking a reported 167 different languages (MacFarlane et al. 2009). Theoretically when a healthcare professional enters a patients room there is a 1 in 10 percent chance he/she will be greeted by a patient that comes from a different culture, speaks a different language or has different beliefs.
It is important for healthcare professionals to provide culturally sensitive care. The importance of cultural competence was highlighted in the UK. The United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting (1992) argues that nurses should recognise and respect the uniqueness and dignity of each patient and client and respond to their need for care, irrespective of their ethnic origin, religious beliefs, personal attributes, and the nature of their health problems or any other factor. The Purnell Model for cultural competence is a model that all health care professionals can use. The Purnell Model for cultural competence (2002) states that
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Often patients can misinterpret information that clinicians tell them especially where there is a language barrier present. When a clinician is giving medical information to the patient such as in the video ‘interpreting the message’ where the doctor tells the patient of possible treatment, Kelley (2015) argues that ensuring that the physician acts as a filter/conduit of information and assessment of risks and benefits is of utmost importance to patients. It is of equal importance for the healthcare professional to ensure that the patient understands and interprets correctly the information that is being relayed to them. If there is a language barrier present between a patient and their clinician interpretation is made more difficult and this can often lead to misinterpretation. Gregg and Saha (2007) describe language as “a simple shared system of grammar and words”. In order to prevent or resolve misinterpretation with a language barrier Gregg and Saha (2015) present that an interpreter to allow each party to decipher what the other is saying is essential. They continue to argue that an interpreter is critical to ensuring effective communication between the two parties. In the case of the video ‘interpreting the message’ it was evident that both parties agreed that an interpreter was needed for her next. The patient suggested her son while the clinician suggested the hospitals professional
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