As Leavitt 2010 highlighted that it is our professional responsibility to make adaptive changes to technical challenges to better serve our clients. Furthermore, Leavitt (2010) emphasized not only on verbal and non-verbal communication skill but also on the linguistic structure which is vital for effective communication in the healthcare industry. Leavitt (2010) described that the meaning of “silence “is different in some cultures. For example, when working with a Chinese speaking client post hip replacement, it was challenging for PT and myself to understand if the client was in pain because she was smiling whenever the therapists were around. When we asked her about her pain she said, it hurt a lot (8/10). The contrast in her facial expression and the reporting of pain was puzzling to us. The patient kept refusing to take medications. Her family brought some traditional ointment that she would apply at the pain site to alleviate the pain. PT started providing ice therapy as adjunct to traditional ointment to alleviate her pain. The patient never had a facial grimacing indicating pain but thanked the therapist when she received an ice therapy. Some cultures are taught to endure pain and prefer to use traditional medicines than allopathic drugs to alleviate pain.
The ability to understand the meaning of the client’s behavior within the context of the culture structure is critical for effective cross-cultural communication. Without understanding the meaning of the client behavior, the ther...
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...educator. The understanding of individualistic vs. collectivist orientation and different generational groups (traditionalist, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials) are critical elements that the students should be aware of to help them develop effective communication strategies. Moreover, the patient-centered communication model such as LEARN (Listen, Elicit, Assess, Recommend and Negotiate by Berkins and Fowkes, 1993) is a simple yet effective model that can be easily incorporated in patient-client/student interaction to enhance communication skills with clients from diverse culture.
Further, the concept of rapport building in cross-cultural interactions and the critical elements in cross-cultural communication (beliefs, attitude, and behaviors) discussed in this chapter are worth sharing with future students and co-workers to promote cultural competency.
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