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Healthcare Communication Methods

Healthcare Communication Methods

The first thing to understand when it comes to communicating with patients in nursing homes is that not everyone is the same. You will have patients that are hard of hearing, deaf, do not speak or understand the same language you do and that are blind; yes, being blind can affect how you communicate. If you have a patient that does not speak English it is not best to first bring in a family member. “You may be tempted to automatically use family members as interpreters, but this is legally risky except in case of emergencies.” ("When patients don't speak English, what is the risk?" 2007). If it comes down to the point where you have tried every other option and you are running out of time, yes, call a member of the family. The reason why this is risky is because you do not know if your patient does not want particular family members knowing where they are, these occasions are rare but they do happen. Sometimes people are embarrassed about the fact that they are in a nursing home and they do not want members of the family knowing that. Also, you may end up contacting a family member that is not in good standing with your patient and could possibly do more harm than good. Find a local interpreter and ask for information that is in the language your patient speaks. Most brochures for interpreters are printed with several different languages on them. Let the patient see the information that you have, that should trigger that you are letting them know that service is available to them. If you cannot indicate that the interpreter will be at no cost to the patient, wait until the patient agrees and have the interpreter tell the patient that they do not have to pay for the services.
Types of communication with patients that are deaf or hard of hearing are; writing things down and using cards. If being...

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