Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cross Cultural Communication

We all know how difficult it can be communicating with our own culture, so how must it be for those from a completely different culture? Mis-communication happens all the time. It is especially difficult for our older people and those with hearing loss - I know, I have hearing aids. So if you are going to give the best care you can to the vulnerable in our care, you need to look very carefully as to how you talk to people. Are you sure they understand what you are saying or are they just being polite and nodding their head in agreement just to please you? This goes for everyone.

Now because I am used to having to get people to repeat themselves due to my hearing loss, it is not that way for everyone. So as nurses and managers, you need to coach people who have English as a second language to make sure they know what is being asked and to have the confidence to ask for it to be repeated if they don't. It is no good to complain about the work not being done the way you want it to be done, if you dont invest the time in orientating people to how you want it done - and this includes the way the culture of the people being cared for want to be communicated with. My saying for this month is
"If the team do not know the why behind the what, then the how is superfluous"