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Put yourself in the shoes of a patient who does not understand the health care professional in front of them. How would you react if the health care professional started speaking more loudly or more slowly? How would you react if the health care professional asked your 12-year-old daughter to tell you that you have cancer? Would you think that’s normal? In addition to being ill, you got the news from your daughter.
When we don’t understand the person we are speaking to, we must find other ways of communicating. This is what we will look at together.
Now, let’s look at what solutions are available for providing care in the patient’s language.
The first solution that comes to mind is being bilingual. However, what do you do if you are not bilingual or you are afraid of being judged for your level of French?
The second thing you should try, is to try! When we see a patient and note that they are francophone or Acadian, we can start by trying to communicate with them. A simple “Bonjour” can be really important for the patient. This helps facilitate communication; puts the patient at ease, like the health care professional; makes the patient feel understood and better looked after.
Other solutions exist, such as interpretation services, bilingual voicemail, bilingual reception and translators.
However, let’s first turn to the ideal situation for patients and health care professionals.
Among the following list, find the feelings and qualities related to a patient
Among the following list, find the feelings and qualities related to a health professional
Among the following proposals, select those that help a patient to better understand a situation or care: