Reflection week 12

This week I was really intrigued by the modern healthcare magazine article I read. I thought it was interesting talking about all of the bargaining and deciding where and how to cut costs. Still, I wouldn’t recommend that activity for the future because it was confusing, had little guidance, and frankly didn’t flow with what we had been learning. We definitely needed more education on that topic before assigning it. Anyway, I want to talk about the very interesting article that I read this week. It was about improving patient health literacy because there are some serious gaps in our healthcare system that are very concerning. In 2013 In Rio Grande Valley Health in McAllen, Texas it became apparent that the organization’s patients had trouble talking with the physicians about their health during doctors visits. With further depth into the problem they saw that the majority of the problem was the language barrier. Not only was it that about 7,500 of the patients in this Southern Texas border speak English as a second language. The bigger problem was that the patients felt very intimidated because their understanding of their health and the medial terminology was very minimal. Many times they would respond just “Yes, I understand”. In reality, they did not understand and many times were sent home with not any clue how to maintain their health or followup post-procedure. This is very concerning to me as a nurse because it is against my ethical values to send someone home without appropriate knowledge of their own health or how to take care of themselves. I think we need to be more wary about how much our patients actually understand. Instead of asking if they understand we should ask them to teach us back what they understand. This gives us better grasp if they truly are safe to return home with the knowledge they need.


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