TheImportance of Communication Skills for Physical Therapists in Culturally competentenvironment KrishnaPratyusha ParuchuriIntroduction Cultural competence “is a set of congruentbehaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, oramong professionals that enables effective work in cross-cultural situations”as per American Physical Therapy Association on cultural competence. While thecultural competency includes awareness, knowledge, and skills, it is alsoessential to convert these constructs into appropriate communication.
Fordeveloping cultural competence and providing comprehensive health care to amulticultural patient population, the most important component is the qualityof communication. Effective communication has been linked to reducing healthimbalances and improving patient outcomes (Sherrill & Mayo, 2014). LiteraturereviewThe more we developawareness of our own behavioral preferences, and consider our reactions tobehaviors which challenge those preferences, the greater our understanding willbe of the role of culture in communication, and the less likely we are to feel annoyedor frustrated when we encounter differences. Teaching strategies shouldemphasize the critical role of good communication skills, particularly with disproportionategroups. The positive attitudes towards communication skills training aresignificantly related to confidence when communicating with the patients.
It isimportant that educators identify opportunities to teach improved communicationskills. Educational programs can provide students with an introduction to theimpact of communication on patient satisfaction and health outcomes. Physicaltherapists must consider, the impact culture and language have during clientinteractions for providing competent care. During interactions with clients,families and colleagues, the Physical Therapists should consider the cultureand language to provide competent care to the patients. The health care professionals should providetreatment regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, social status, weight,sexual orientation, religion and language of any patient or their family member(Committee on cultural competence, 2008). the patients who has language barrieror any communication needs, has to be provided with competent languageassistance, both verbally and in writing to meet their needs. When the patientand the therapist are from different cultural backgrounds, an understanding ofthe patient and family values is required to provide effective care. (Hayward2012).
Aresearch conducted by Arif, S. et all. on pharmacy students showed an increasein understanding of and attitudes towards cross-cultural communication bypre-lecture and post-workshop assessment.
Understanding of cross-culturalcommunication concepts and comfort level with providing cultural care has beenincreased significantly. They included areal- life scenario in which the learners can observe the actions of the videoactors, reflect on the weaknesses and strengths of the interaction, and projecthow they would behave and respond if facing a similar patient interaction. The results of this pilot study indicate thatstudents believe that the methods used to facilitate the development ofcultural competence were useful and effective and easily translated intoservice delivery. Participants agreed that learning the cultureand norms of the profession requires total immersion. They unanimously notedthat they did not learn these skills in school; rather, they learned byexperience, by doing, and by being involved in all aspects of clinical practiceas suggested by Dewey.
24 For these participants, learning from experience beganwhen they were given access to the practice environment, which also isconsistent with the works of Wenger23 and Lave and Wenger36 on apprenticeshiplearning within a community of practice.ReferencesArif, S., Cryder, B., Mazan, J., Ana, Q.,Cyganska, A.
(2017). Using patient case video vignettes toimprove students’ Understanding of Cross-cultural communication. American journal of PharmaceuticalEducation, 81(3), 56A,56B,56C,56D,56E,56F,56G,56H,56I,56J,56K.Hayward, L. M., Charrette, A. L. (2012).
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(2007). Integration ofCultural Competence in Physical Therapist Education. Journalof Physical Therapist education, 21(1), 33-39.
Sherrill, W., Mayo, R, M. (2014). Medicaland nursing student communication skills: preparing totreat Latino patients. Journal ofCommunication in Healthcare, 7(2), 128-136.
Veronica, J. (2011). Cultural Competencein Physical Therapy Education: Student perceptions on theeffectiveness of cultural competence education methodology. Journal of the national society of AlliedHealth, 8(9), 31-38.