Health Care Disparity Observation


HealthCare Disparity Observation

HealthCare Disparity Observation

Thecommunication process in a clinical setting is an important elementof influencing the behavior of both the patients and health workers.This is the main lesson I learnt in the observation task when Ivisited the ABC Hospital last week. Simons-Morton et al (2005),argues that the effective communication is vital for an effectivehealth education to influence patients. Therefore, I intended toobserve the process of communication between the nurses at the healthcare facility and the patients. I particularly sought permission toobserve a nurse involved in communicating with patients, especiallyin the process of educating them. Through the observation, I exploredthe cultural sensitivity and the global awareness so as to understandthe racial or ethnic differences in health care, and how they arehandled in a clinical setting.

Thenurse was a Standard English speaker while the patient was a Chineseman who had a Heart Failure problem. The communication was a greatchallenge because of a number of social and racial factors. One ofthe main challenges was the language differences between the ladynurse and the Chinese man. To solve the problem, the nurse had to usethe interpreter because the Chinese man could not speak Englishlanguage other than the basic greetings. When the introduction wasover, the interpreter interpreted all the conversations between theChinese man and the nurse. The interpretation took time because thehospital interpreter had to listen, understand and interpret themessage. The process was long but was the two seemed to endure theconversation and understand the situation.

Thesecond major challenge was the ethnic disparity between the nurse andthe Chinese patient. The patient was a typical Chinese man whobelieved in Chinese medicine and the strength of the herbal cure. Atone time, the Chinese patient asked the nurse if the traditionalchine medicine would work in his case. He at one time referred to thetraditional cures as TCM, which the nurse explained as theTraditional Chinese Medicine. The patient seemed to put a lot oftrust on the herbal remedies to his problem. According to Grametet al (2010), a health worker should understand the background of thepatient in order to effectively understand his or her opinion orarguments. As a result of this knowledge, the nurse was keen toexplain that the condition the patient was suffering required medicalattention at all times to ensure that he was in the right state ofhealth.

Inaddition, the nurse and the patient had a difference of age and agenerational diversity. While the nurse was a young lady, the patientwas an aged Chinese man. The two showed some generational gap in theway they were receiving the opinion of each other. However, the nursewas professional enough not to show that she had concerns over theideas put forward by the patient. At one time, the patient explainedthat he was taught by his old grandfather that a heart condition isnot caused by nutritional or lifestyle factors but genetics. However,the nurse took time to educate the old man that the nutrition andlifestyle were significant risk factors for his condition. Accordingto Simons-Mortonet al (2005), the educator should take time to understand and respondto the patient appropriately.

Thediscussion between the nurse and the old Chinese patient was long butfruitful for both sides. While the two showed differences in terms ofpresenting ideas, the nurse was professional in her explanations. Asa result of her professionalism and competence ion the communicationprocess, the patient understood all the information needed for hiscondition. The educational focus of the nurse made the communicationprocess effective in passing the information to the client andunderstanding his concerns. This way, the nurse employed herprofessionalism of understanding global diversities in thecommunication process, so as to influence the behavior of thepatient.


Gramet,P., Jacobs, K., &amp Sopczyk, D. (2010). HealthProfessional as Educator: Principles of Teaching and Learning.Sudbury, MA: Jones &amp Bartlett Learning

Simons-Morton,B. G., Greene, W. H., &amp Gottlieb, N. H.. (2005). Introductionto Health Education and Health Promotion.2nd edition. Waveland: Waveland Press