HLT-306 Topic 3 Multicultural Communication Discussion Essay

HLT-306 Topic 3 Multicultural Communication Discussion Essay

HLT-306 Topic 3 Multicultural Communication Discussion Essay

HLT-306 Topic 3 Multicultural Communication Sample

Multicultural Communication and its Origins

Cultural competence is a pivotal skill for effective communication between healthcare professionals and their clients owing to the rapidly increasing diversity of the patient population. Multicultural communication is defined as the in-person or virtual communication between individuals of different cultural backgrounds with consequently diminished ethnocentrism and unhealthy stereotyping (Mosed et al., 2021). The origin of multicultural communication can be attributed to technological advancement, social environment, globalization, and global immigration (Mosed et al., 2021). Healthcare workers encounter patients from different socio-cultural backgrounds in their day-to-day practices. The needs of these patients can be met in totality by ensuring the availability of culturally sensitive healthcare. Strategies should thus be devised to address gaps in healthcare caused by cultural barriers.

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Culture, Ethnicity, and Acculturation.

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Culture, ethnicity, and acculturation are phenomena that are commonly encountered in a multicultural society. Although the three constructs determine an individual’s identity,  they are quite distinct. Culture is a social concept that defines people’s way of life and their unique characteristics. Ethnicity is the classification of individuals based on shared unique characteristics such as ancestry, race, and social identities. Acculturation, on the other hand, is the process whereby continuous interactions of individuals of different cultures cause changes to the original cultural patterns of both the heritage and host groups (Areba et al., 2021). Acculturation may have serious implications on the health of individuals due to changes in values and practices. This is, therefore, an area that should be explored by healthcare stakeholders for the delivery of quality care to the diverse patient population.

Cultural and Religious Differences and Health Care Professionals

Cultural and religious discordance can be devastating not only for the patient but also for the healthcare provider. This is a result of inadequate communication and inevitable misunderstanding which leads to the patient’s needs not being holistically met. Consequences of cultural and religious differences include adverse patient outcomes,  poor quality of care, dissatisfaction with healthcare services, and poor patient-provider interactions (Swihart et al., 2021). Integration of culturally and religiously competent healthcare professionals will markedly improve the quality of care given to these patients since their needs will be adequately and appropriately addressed.

Family Culture and Its Effect on Patient Education.

Family culture may have serious implications on an individual’s health. Clinical dilemmas may arise when the patient’s values and practices clash with recommendations from the healthcare professional. To avert any misunderstanding,  healthcare providers by employing ethnography can comprehend how a patient’s identity, interpretation of ill health, and moral values can affect compliance with clinical recommendations (Hernandez et al., 2019). This will enable healthcare professionals to offer health promotion services that are congruent with the patient’s culture. This will also enhance patient-provider trust and relationship thus fostering compliance with the clinician’s health promotion recommendations.

Approaches the Health Care Professional Can Use to Address Religious and Cultural Diversity.

Gaps in access to quality healthcare can be mitigated through the implementation of various applicable measures. These include the involvement of the patient’s family in decision-making regarding healthcare, integration of targeted cultural values into health promotion programs, provision of a traditional healers-friendly environment, recruitment of interpreter services, and cultural awareness training and cultural professional development (Swihart et al., 2021). This will ensure that healthcare providers attend to their patients effectively and efficiently in a culturally and religiously appropriate manner. Any misunderstanding during the patient treatment should be resolved amicably to avoid strained patient-provider relationships.

Types of Illiteracy.

The level of literacy is an important determinant of health outcomes. Health literacy is the ability to access, comprehend, and use health information to make relevant judgments and decisions regarding healthcare, disease prevention, and health promotion to improve the quality of life based on an individual’s knowledge and competence (Zheng et al., 2018). The inability to make the above judgment is called health illiteracy. The other types of illiteracy are literal, cultural, racial, civic, financial, numerical, functional, factual, mental, and emotional illiteracy.

Illiteracy As a Disability.

Illiteracy by itself is not a disability. A disability is any condition that causes a physical or mental impairment in the affected individual leading to substantial limitations in one or more major life activities (Nguyen et al., 2019). Illiteracy will, therefore,  be considered a disability if it is attributed to a learning disability. It will also be considered a disability if illiteracy is secondary to a mental or physical impairment. There have to be substantial limitations of life activities for this criterion to be met.

Examples of Myths About Illiteracy.

There are several myths surrounding illiteracy. For example, some individuals believe that illiteracy is hereditary. The perception that illiterate individuals are likely to give birth to children who will also be illiterate is false. This is, however, not true. Provided these children are provided with necessary resources and support,  they are unlikely to be illiterate. Barriers such as parents not knowing the value of education will need to be addressed. Another myth is the belief that illiteracy is an educational problem in isolation. However, illiteracy has other serious implications beyond education. These include economic burdens and adverse health outcomes. Illiterate people are more likely to be dependent on others to fend for themselves and their health judgment and decisions will not be informed. They will thus be more predisposed to ill health.

Assessing Literacy Skills and Evaluating Written Material for Readability.

Assessment of literacy skills and readability of materials is pivotal in ensuring that appropriate health promotion and medical interventions are availed to patients. Various instruments are available for this purpose at the individual or population level. Instruments available for assessing literacy skills include the public health literacy knowledge scale, all aspects of the health literacy scale, and the mental health literacy scale among others (Liu et al., 2018). Readability is measured using various indices such as the Flesch-Kincaid Index, the Simple Measure of Gobbledygook, and the Coleman-Liau index (Szabó et al., 2021). These instruments consider factors like the number of words or sentences.

Ways a Health Care Professional May Establish Effective Communication.

Communication between the healthcare professional and the patient forms the fundamental basis for formulating the diagnosis and management plan. Before initiating a serious conversation, it is important to create a good rapport with the patient to make them comfortable. Effective communication is characterized by maintaining eye contact, demonstrating affirmative gestures, coherent and slow speaking, clear communication of information, and being empathetic (Oliveros et al., 2019). It is also important to observe for non-verbal cues and actively listen when the patient is speaking.

Ways the Health Care Professional Can Help a Patient Remember Instructions.

Patient recall of provider instructions is important, especially in ensuring adherence to treatment recommendations. Many patients, especially those with low literacy and the elderly, do not remember important information after their interactions with a healthcare professional. There is thus a need to come up with strategies to help these patients in retaining key information. These include shared patient-provider decision-making, keeping the number of instructions at a minimum, and healthcare professionals’ open questioning and teaching back (Laws et al., 2018). The adoption of technology and the application of telehealth to facilitate communication between the healthcare provider and the patient can also be implemented.


Areba, E., Watts, A., Larson, N., Eisenberg, M., & Neumark-Sztainer, D. (2021). Acculturation and ethnic group differences in well-being among Somali, Latino, and Hmong adolescents. American Journal Of Orthopsychiatry, 91(1), 109-119. https://doi.org/10.1037/ort0000482

Hernandez, M., & Gibb, J. (2019). Culture, behavior and health. Evolution, Medicine, And Public Health, 2020(1), 12-13. https://doi.org/10.1093/emph/eoz036

Laws, M., Lee, Y., Taubin, T., Rogers, W., & Wilson, I. (2018). Factors associated with patient recall of key information in ambulatory specialty care visits: Results of an innovative methodology. Plos One, 13(2), e0191940. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0191940

Liu, H., Zeng, H., Shen, Y., Zhang, F., Sharma, M., & Lai, W. et al. (2018). Assessment Tools for Health Literacy among the General Population: A Systematic Review. International Journal Of Environmental Research And Public Health, 15(8), 1711. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081711

Mosed, H., Periord, M., & Caboral-Stevens, M. (2021). A concept analysis of intercultural communication. Nursing Forum, 56(4), 993–999. https://doi.org/10.1111/nuf.12622

Nguyen, J., & Gilbert, L. (2019). Health Literacy among Individuals with Disabilities: A Health Information National Trends Survey Analysis. The Permanente Journal, 23(4). https://doi.org/10.7812/tpp/19.034

Oliveros, E., Brailovsky, Y., & Shah, K. (2019). Communication Skills. JACC: Case Reports, 1(3), 446-449. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaccas.2019.09.003

Swihart, D. L., Yarrarapu, S., & Martin, R. L. (2021). Cultural Religious Competence In Clinical Practice. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.

Szabó, P., Bíró, É., & Kósa, K. (2021). Readability and Comprehension of Printed Patient Education Materials. Frontiers In Public Health, 9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2021.725840

Zheng, M., Jin, H., Shi, N., Duan, C., Wang, D., Yu, X., & Li, X. (2018). The relationship between health literacy and quality of life: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Health And Quality Of Life Outcomes, 16(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12955-018-1031-7

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Assessment Description
Write a 650-1300 word response to the following questions:

Explain multicultural communication and its origins.
Compare and contrast culture, ethnicity, and acculturation.
Explain how cultural and religious differences affect the health care professional and the issues that can arise in cross-cultural communications.
Discuss family culture and its effect on patient education.
List some approaches the health care professional can use to address religious and cultural diversity.
List the types of illiteracy.
Discuss illiteracy as a disability.
Give examples of some myths about illiteracy.
Explain how to assess literacy skills and evaluate written material for readability.
Identify ways a health care professional may establish effective communication.
Suggest ways the health care professional can help a patient remember instructions.
This assignment is to be submitted as a Microsoft Word document.

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