Essay about Health Care Provider and Low Health Literacy

Submitted By studyforme14
Words: 930
Pages: 4

As a medical professional, there will be times when you are faced with patients who have difficulties such as visual impairment or hearing impairment. Both of these issues deem the person to be a part of a ‘marginalized’ population; however, this should lend any different form of medical treatment. It should, though, cause medical professionals to spend a bit more quality time in caring for these individuals. A patient with visual impairment is not necessarily completely blind. Many patients still have the ability to see outlines, auras, or shadows. In order to effectively communicate and best treat visually impaired patients, you should always provide reasonable accommodations such as larger print or taking the time to read any patient material aloud in case there are questions (Osborne, 2015). Another population considered ‘marginalized’ is the hearing impaired, which comprises approximately one in six individuals (Bade). Individuals who have hearing impairment can have complete hearing loss or can simply be hard of hearing. It is important as a medical professional to ensure these patients understand any information or procedures up front and are aware of everything that happens during the medical procedure. If a person has complete hearing loss and is able to read lips, attempt to speak slower so they are able to understand more fully what is going on. Most likely, the person will have brought someone to accompany them but this is not always the case. If the person cannot read lips, writing is often the next best thing. Write the steps and use written communication as a tool to ensure the patient understands everything that is going to happen to them or that the patient should be aware of about the diagnosis (Bade). One tip to remember also is to be respectful of visually impaired patients. While this seems a moot point, many blind patients do not want assistance or do not require it. The first step in providing assistance to any person who is impaired is to be respectful and ask if they need help. The overall lesson from the simulation activity is that we should be respectful and mindful of every culture because there are cultures other than ours who have different ways of thinking as well as different methods of expressing emotions. Also, body language is so important, especially if one needs to convey information which may be less than positive in nature. If a health professional uses body language that states a severely poor prognosis while physically telling the patient things will most likely be alright, the patient will not feel the levels of confidence they would have felt had the professional utilized more positive overall tones. Each method of communication we studied during this course has been helpful because there are multiple methods of communication which go above and beyond mere verbal communication. The simulation exercise is a prime example of this. The one exercise I did not guess correctly was the last one in which the medical professional notices her patient is disconcerted. She asks a question and receives an answer that would normally not be anything out of the ordinary to the majority of individuals unless one is paying strict attention to body language while speaking with a patient at the same time. The patient was indeed in dire conditions and he did not convey this except through one general comment when stating his asthma medications were not working correctly. Had the professional not been listening effectively, this comment would have been overlooked and the patient would have potentially died. As for the last question, how to improve communication in those with low health literacy and children, there also is a wealth of information if health workers will take the time to read