Impacts of Poor Health Care Literacy

IMPACTS OF POOR HEALTH CARE LITERACY 4

Impactsof Poor Health Care Literacy

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Whenpeoplegoto seekmedicalhelp,mostof them donot fullyunderstandtheinformationtheygetfrom thedoctor.Mostof thepatientsare ashamedof portrayingtheir illiteracyandpoormemory.In orderto helppatientsunderstandhealthinformationbetter,medicalpersonnelhas to improvetheir healthliteracy.Healthcareliteracyinvolvesreadingandunderstandingtheavailablemedicalinformationin therightway.Italsoincludestheabilityto writeandthepresenceifconceptual knowledgeon healthissues(Bohlman et al., 2004).

Healthliteracyaffectspatientsin differentways.First,its absenceresultsin patientsgettingfrustrated whentheyvisittheir doctorssince theycannot understandwhatthedoctoris assayingabout their condition.Itis evenworsewhenmedicaljargonsare used(AMA Foundation, 2010).

Patientsalsofindahardtimein decidingwhento takedrugsandtherightcombinations.Patientscannot alsomaketherightinterpretationsregardingdosage, andtheyare likelyto readinstructionsin thewrongway.Somepatient`ssignconsentformsthat theyhavenoideaof whattheymean.Theycannot doanything without thehelpof medicalassistants.Therefore,a lotofmoneyandtimegetspentseekinghelp.Unnecessarybillions arespenteveryyear(AMA Foundation, 2010).

Asa nurse,I believethatpatientsneedto be healthliterate. Mostof thepatientsI haveencountereddonot nowtheconditionof their bodiesin nonprofessionalterms.Thesituationincreasestheir visitsto thehospitalandmuchisspentin termsof timeandresources.To counter this,patientsneedto be treatedin a shame-free environmentwherebytheyare not shyof admittingtheir ignorance(Bohlman et al., 2004). In such a setting,theclinicians will explainto them in thesimplestway.Secondly,as a nurse,I would reservemedicaljargonfortheclinicians only.Patientsneeda simpleexplanationof their conditionanda simpleexplanationof howto taketheir drugs.Theywill henceunderstandtheir conditionin thesimplestlanguage.

References

AMAFoundation. (2010, August 27). Healthliteracy and patient safety: Help patients understand.(Video file) retrieved fromhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGtTZ_vxjyA

Bohlman,L., Panzer, A. M., &amp Kindig, D. A. (2004). Health literacy: aprescription to end confusion. 2004. NationalAcademy of Sciences: Washington, DC.