HLT 306 Homework Topic 3

Homework Topic 3

Explain multicultural communication and its origins

            Multicultural communication refers to a written or verbal interaction between two or more people of distinct cultural beliefs and values. That is, it emphasizes the communication dynamics across cultures. It does not only concerned with people from two different cultures, but also people from various cultures and ethnicities that form a community, society, organization, or country. The origin of multicultural communication is traced back to the trade and immigration that brought together individuals from various cultures and backgrounds, making communication and interaction between them inevitable.

Compare and contrast culture, ethnicity, and acculturation

            Culture characterizes the certain traditions, norms, language, dialects, beliefs, accepted behaviors, religious influences, values, music, dressing codes, and other facets of the routine of the daily life of a given group of people or population in the society. On the other hand, ethnicity refers to an individual’s genetic background. On its side, acculturation connotes assimilation of new cultures by people from another culture. Individuals may migrate to different societies or countries and gradually adopt the norms and cultures of the new societies or countries.

Explain how cultural and religious differences affect the health care professional and the issues that can arise in cross-cultural communications

            In most cases, patients and healthcare professionals tend to come from distinct cultural and religious backgrounds, which can compromise healthcare service provision due to different cultural and religious values and beliefs relating to healthcare delivery. The issues that may arise in cross-cultural communications include the potential for developing bias against the culture or religion of the other person, frustrations during discussions, failure to recognize the religion or culture of the other party, and classification of people from different cultures (Markey et al., 2018). These issues can lead to a poor relationship between the clinician and the patients from other cultures.  As such, clinicians should always remain open-minded and approach patients with respect irrespective of their cultural or religious backgrounds.

Discuss family culture and its effect on patient education

            Family culture connotes the accumulation of ideas, attitudes, environment, and ideals that individuals inherit from parents and ancestors. In healthcare, family culture plays a significant role. In many families, older people are often the custodians of family values. However, younger people tend to mix their family culture with other Western beliefs and they cannot strictly comply with their family values and beliefs. The effect of family culture on patient education is that when the patient education contradicts the family culture, it is challenging for patients to receive and apply patient education to guide their healthcare.

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List some approaches the health care professional can use to address religious and cultural diversity

            Health care professionals should always strive to respect patent’s religion and culture and remain open-minded when dealing with clients from diverse backgrounds. The clinicians should also try to understand the patients and determine the kind of help they deserve by developing a healthy therapeutic relationship. This kind of relationship facilitates the provision of health education. Healthcare professionals should also strive to respect patients’ values and preferences including cultural and religious beliefs and values (Markey et al., 2018). Finally, clinicians should always engage patients in their care to enable them to gain a deep understanding of patients’ needs and make patients feel valued.

List the types of illiteracy

            There are various types of illiteracy. One is literal illiteracy, which is characterized by the inability to read and write. The other one is cultural illiteracy, which is characterized by the inability to understand personal background and history and also the inability to understand other people’s cultural norms and practices. The other types of illiteracy are civic illiteracy which is presented by failure to understand how an individual or a group of people can trigger positive change in challenging life issues, functional illiteracy where a person cannot construe the meaning of a sentence or phrase, and factual illiteracy that is characterized by the inability to think critically (Meherali et al., 2020).

Discuss illiteracy as a disability

            Illiteracy can be regarded as a disability if it is the outcome of a learning disability or other mental or physical impediments that fundamentally limit major life activities such as communicating, learning, or reading.  In healthcare, the disability impacts the degree to which the patient complies with health practices. Therefore, clinicians should avoid the perception that every patient can read, understand, and interpret health information. Instead, clinicians should opt for reasonable accommodation of patients by examining the individual circumstances of every patient and involving them in dialogue to determine the appropriate reasonable accommodation that might enable the patient to understand and implement health education in the care without causing undue harm (Meherali et al., 2020).

Give examples of some myths about illiteracy

            People tend to hold various misconceptions about health and wellness literacy, which significantly compromises their health literacy. There are various myths about illiteracy. Some believe that illiteracy is rare among educated, employed, and people with high incomes. Another myth is that many illiterate people are poor, immigrants, or minorities. The other common myth is that literacy level is determined by the period of schooling.

Explain how to assess literacy skills and evaluate written material for readability

            Healthcare professionals can assess literacy skills in patients by ensuring clear communication, which should move above typical methods of talking and taking notes to the creation of mutual understanding. After communicating information, the next step is to confirm whether or not the patient understood the information.  The other technique is clarification and questioning. Healthcare professionals should validate complete understanding through clarification and questioning the patient. Clinicians should use open-ended questions and encourage patients to ask questions to personalize the information. Clinicians can also provide a patient with a pamphlet containing facts to read and ask questions.

Identify ways a health care professional may establish effective communication

            Healthcare professionals may establish effective communication in different ways. One of the ways is to start by evaluating the current communication culture in the organization and conducting a needs assessment to determine areas that require improvements. Healthcare professionals should also strive to streamline communication channels to enable employees to adhere to specific communication protocols. Clinicians should also strive to improve collaboration to enhance communication between care providers (Arnold & Boggs, 2019). The management should also provide an opportunity for staff to voice their concerns.

Suggest ways the health care professional can help a patient remember instructions

            Healthcare professionals should be creative and utilize visual presentations to aid the patients in understanding the information provided. Usually, the use of pictures containing literacy skills tends to be more effective than spoken words. Healthcare professionals should also use handouts containing many graphics to demonstrate vital points to enhance patient understanding. Visual assistants are also effective at improving the ability of patients to learn. Clinicians should also utilize audio visuals alongside patient teaching to enable patients to appraise the aids routinely to enhance understanding (Arnold & Boggs, 2019). 


Arnold, E. C., & Boggs, K. U. (2019). Interpersonal relationships e-book: professional communication skills for nurses. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Markey, K., Tilki, M., & Taylor, G. (2018). Understanding nurses’ concerns when caring for patients from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Journal of clinical nursing, 27(1-2), e259-e268. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.13926

Meherali, S., Punjani, N. S., & Mevawala, A. (2020). Health literacy interventions to improve health outcomes in low-and middle-income countries. HLRP: Health Literacy Research and Practice, 4(4), e251-e266. https://doi.org/10.3928/24748307-20201118-01

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