Cultural Barriers to Communication
Communication is essential whether at home or in the work environment. Managers and team members are challenged in the healthcare field as effective communication is essential to transfer information, develop common understanding and enhance knowledge. Mastering communication skills reduces errors related to consumers and handling of patients and increases effective interaction with patients, consumers, peers, colleagues and other departments.
Let’s read the following scenario.
A healthcare manager sent an e-mail stating the unit would begin to incorporate a new patient safety program, where patients who are at risk will need to wear yellow socks. This identifies a protocol, which includes keeping the bed rails up and requires thirty-minute rounding to make certain that the patients are not getting out of bed without assistance. A registered nurse (RN), recently employed from China, has a language barrier, even though she has passed her state boards. She is not familiar with e-mail as a communication method in her past work environment in China.
The RN from China, Meelynn, does not read the e-mail directive and her patient is not given the proper protocol procedures. The patient falls from the bed and now has been transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU). The manager is now meeting with her to understand how this occurred and to educate Meelynn about effective communication methods used in the organization. You heard Meelynn say to other workers, “I don’t think this is my fault. We get ten e-mails each day, text messages from management, and we are expected to read all of it and care for patients. I don’t have time to read all the messages the manager sends to me. Some of the messages I don’t even understand what she means and I cannot go and take time to find her.”
On the basis of above scenario and your knowledge on communication, answer the following questions:
- What plan do you suggest for handling communication problems involved in the given scenario? Why?
- Poor communication is the root cause of many errors and adverse events. Do you agree with this statement? Explain why?
- What are the two major problems associated with written communication and two with verbal communication in an organization?
- What actions can individuals take to ensure their communication is effectively received? Why is this important?
- What factors can affect someone’s ability to receive communication?
- What values are encouraged when one complies with effective communication methods?
- What are the benefits of having a culturally diverse team?
- What is the organization’s significance and responsibility to train all staff members to comply with regulations and requirements?