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Language and cultue in health care

Language and cultue in health care

by OpenLMS Support -
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Language and culture

Language and culture are factors that have been proved to affect the interaction between patients and health care providers, causing disparities such as less access to care, more hospital readmissions, longer hospital stays, and poorer health outcomes (Flores, 2006).

How can we address these disparities? The Joint Commission and the National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Service (CLAS) standards recommend the use of a mixture of resources composed of linguistically proficient and professionally trained medical/healthcare interpreters, remote interpreting services, and professionally-translated written materials.

"Do you speak Spanish? Don't worry. I got this!"

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Spanish is the most spoken language other than English at home in the United States with close to 40 million Spanish speakers. Sometimes, people think they know "some" Spanish (or any language other than English), and they try to establish communication with speakers of other languages. When such attempts happen in health care settings, there may be consequences affecting the patient's care and outcome. This has been documented by physicians, and by published research articles (2012, 2013).

    Addressing language and cultural barriers professionally

      Communication is complex. If we add the evident stressors of patients with limited English proficiency attending a medical visit, this communication can become emotional, and more difficult to understand.
      The use of bilingual untrained employees has been the go-to resource for many organizations. However, a study published a few years ago (Flores, 2012) identified a large number of errors with potentially negative consequences for the patient in 15-minute medical encounters. The only factor with statistical significance that reduced the number errors and the nature of the consequences was the factor of number of training hours. The number with statistical significance was 100 hours.

      The NICHC proposal

        The National Institute for Coordinated Health Care (NICHC), is committed to empower individuals with linguistic and cultural skills through professional training by providing them with knowledge, tools,resources, and new skills to respond to the growing demand of language interpreting services in health care and other professional settings.

        This e-learning site, helps you to acquire the basic and advanced knowledge and skills in medical/healthcare interpreting. Join us in the journey of learning, and consolidate your linguistic skills with a new career path to help people get the health care they need and deserve.

        Choose from our list of basic and advanced training options and enhance your professional development.

        (Edited by Gerardo Lazaro-Admin - original submission Tuesday, 18 July 2017, 4:37 PM)