Patients Not Understanding Their Doctors - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Patients Not Understanding Their Doctors

Louise Anderson, Registered Nurse, NWTH Louise Anderson, Registered Nurse, NWTH

A communication breakdown between doctors and patients can cause some to go home not knowing what their doctor's instructions were.

Amarillo's melting pot of cultures can mean a meltdown in communication.

Officials say getting over a language gap with patients who don't speak english as a first language, can be hard to do.

Louise Anderson, Registered Nurse for NWTH says, "There are populations in the community that do not speak english. Of course we want to be sensitive to all patient needs, whether they may be deaf and need to use a sign language interpreter, whether they may be from a foreign country."

Anderson says they are trying to bridge the gap by educating patients on their options. It's believed 75 percent of patients don't understand their doctor's instructions.

Anderson says patients need to be open with doctors and unafraid to ask questions.

"I think culture plays a big part in that as well. Because health care and physicians are often looked as being in an esteemed position, and patients are fearful of questioning, disputing or even discussing their healthcare needs with healthcare professionals."

The hospital has English forms translated in Spanish for patients or has translators either in town or through a telephone system to make sure patients have a thorough understanding of what they need to do to get back to full health.

Powered by Frankly