Health literacy is something that can affect all of us. Read the two articles for this week, (Available in Course Reserves), and think about your past experiences.

Discussion assignment:

  • What is one time that you or someone you know has experienced a health literacy challenge? Share in the discussion board the following:
  • Briefly describe the situation, to the level of your comfort. (It is not necessary to disclose personal details, specific prescriptions or medical history, etc.) Focus on the parts of the experience that exposed health literacy issues.
  • Identify barriers in the situation that caused problems.
  • What might have been done differently to make the situation go better?

For full credit, you must make a meaningful reply to at least one other student’s post. Make sure that your response helps move the conversation along. (Have you had similar problems/experiences? How have you overcome health literacy barriers like theirs?

There are two readings, one is a link and the other one is attached as PDF. I also need a reply to the discussion post below.

“As someone who grew up translating and filling out various documents for their foreign parents, I believe I have a good understanding of the issue within health literacy. It has become extremely apparent to me that health literacy within immigrants is very limited and should therefore require extra consideration when discussing important things that relate to their health and billing. One example that I can think of to display this issue is when my immigrant grandmother was hospitalized.

To preface, my grandmother is from China and she immigrated to America about 20 years ago. For as long as I can remember, my grandmother only spoke Chinese, and in very limited English. So limited in fact, that whenever someone would speak to her in English she would just reply with “No English”. Fast forward to about a couple years ago, my grandmother fell and had incured a head injury. For the duration that she stayed in the hospital, they had offered a translating service that was able to translate what the doctors were saying to my parents and vice versa. All was well until my grandmother was transferred to a rehabilitation center. She was now at a facility that lacked a translating service and would rely on the sole Chinese nurse that would help us translate only whenever she was available. It was a pain stackingly inefficient process, and one that was hard to bear. The nurses that took care of my grandmother did not understand anything that she was saying, and you can imagine the amount of distrust and confusion that took place between my grandmother and them. Not only were language barriers prevalent, but my grandmother had also developed a neurological deficiency, similar to dementia. The problems that came after this were massive. With the language barrier, my grandmother was unable to relay anything to the nurses and with her neurological deficiency, this intensified the issue even more so. I even believe that there was an issue with stigmatism within my grandmother’s care that elevated the issue further. I just had wished that this healthcare facility prioritized its mission for health literacy and took the proper steps needed to plan my grandmother’s stay at their facility (for instance providing a translating service). All of the attributes discussed in the Ten Attributes article would have been most definitely appreciated, with proper education of quality improvement and avoidance of stigmatism.”

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