JOURNAL ARTICLE

Communicating with culturally and linguistically diverse patients in an acute care setting: nurses' experiences

R N Jane Cioffi
International Journal of Nursing Studies 2003, 40 (3): 299-306
12605952
Communication with culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) patients has been shown to be difficult. This study describes nurses' experiences of communicating with CLD patients in an acute care setting. A purposive sample of registered nurses and certified midwives (n=23) were interviewed. Main findings were: interpreters, bilingual health workers and combinations of different strategies were used to communicate with CLD patients; some nurses showed empathy, respect and a willingness to make an effort in the communication process with others showing an ethnocentric orientation. Main recommendations were: prioritising access to appropriate linguistic services, providing nurses with support from health care workers, e.g., bilingual health care workers who are able to provide more in-depth information, increasing nurses' understanding of legal issues within patient encounters, supporting nurses to translate their awareness of cultural diversity into acceptance of, appreciation for and commitment to CLD patients and their families.

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