Discussion: Induced Depression or Anxiety.

Discussion: Induced Depression or Anxiety.

To further complicate communications, not all cultures describe health problems in the same way, and words from their language may not be easily translated to English and vice versa. For example, words used to describe pain typically include “ sharp,” “ throbbing,” “ stabbing,” or “ aching.” But in many tribal cultures, stories or symbols are essential in relating one’s worldview, so very different words are used to describe pain. Clinicians might be baffled by patients explaining their pain using natural symbols like lightning, trees with deep spreading roots, spider webs, or the tones of drums and flutes (Carteret, 2011a).

In addition to the risks of everyday language breeding possibilities for miscommunication, health care has a language of its own with specialized terminology that can increase the chances of communication mishaps. Health care providers should avoid jargon and select words that people will understand without making them feel like you are talking down to them. Ask the receiver to summarize what you said to check for understanding, and look for nonverbal cues that indicate when miscommunication has occurred. A few cultural communication differences are described in the following paragraphs.

In some cultures, asking questions of health care providers is not an acceptable behavior. Patients from these cultures may be less likely to ask even clarifying questions and, subsequently, may not understand their condition or be able to follow their treatment plan, potentially resulting in a lower quality of care or even medical error.

In some cultures doctors do not want to inform the patient about his or her health problem. This nondisclosure may be because of the belief that the discussion about illness may eliminate or reduce the patient’s hope or induce depression or anxiety. Others believe that discussing the illness may
make the person worse or that it is disrespectful. This issue also is a concern with regard to consent forms. The patient may believe that discussing the possible death or side effects of a medical procedure or medication may make it self-fulfilling and actually happen.


You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.

The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.

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