Nursing Leadership and Management Field Experience

Nursing Leadership and Management Field Experience

Chapter 1: Introduction

Health literacy is essential for effectual communication between patients and health professionals, and is related with adverse patient results. With raising number of people accessing technology, the ehealth literacy concept has also developed in the literature, encompassing the aptitude to utilize computers, to understand and search for online medical information and to be able to put it in the right context. Literacy is a complicated concept which incorporates aspects such as visual literacy, technology, or information literacy. It is described as to appropriately and confidently listen, read, speak and write in different contexts. Among the main indicators of low literacy as described by Rawlings and Tieman (2015) include making excuses while filling in the forms, missing appointments, following or pointing to the text while reading, problems with medication compliance or adherence, avoiding circumstances where complex learning is required or offering improper feedback when asked about the reading.

Health literacy is the degree in which people have the ability to understand, process, and obtain basic health services and information required to make suitable health decisions. It focuses on particular skills required to traverse the health care system and the significance of clear communication between patients and health care providers. Both patients and health care providers play essential obligations in healthy literacy. According to Crooks and Bernstein (2014), health literacy does not simply means the ability to read, it needs a multifaceted group of decision-making, reading, analytical, and listening skills, and the aptitude to employ these skills to health circumstances. For instance, it includes the aptitude to understand instructions on appointment slips, drug bottles prescription, and consent forms, directions of the doctor, and brochures of medical education, as well as the aptitude to negotiate multifaceted health care systems. Health literacy is highly impacted by the culture of the people. This is because culture plays an essential role in communication. Health literacy is impacted by communication styles, belief systems, and response and understanding of health information, which varies from one cultural background to another. According to Stilwell (2015), deprived health literacy is a tougher individual’s health predictor as compared to race, age, education level, income, and employment status.

Health literacy is an ever-changing, dynamic state which offers the patient the required skills to function effectually in the healthcare system. The health literacy of a person might vary based on the provider of the healthcare at the patient encounter time form of shared information; whether negative or positive news and the experienced health issue (NNLM, 2013). Since health information might be complex and scientific, people normally experience problems in understanding and reading written materials that include medication instructions and prescriptions for diagnostic procedures. In this regard, it would be suitable for healthcare providers to establish the best way to offer healthcare literacy to avoid poor understanding of the required information to the patients or/and their families (McCaffery et al., 2013).

Problem Statement

Health literacy is very important in any healthcare facility. It highly determines the effectiveness of the healthcare services provided to the patients. High literacy increases individual ability to understand and follow medical instructions, to understand the importance of learning medical instruction and the effect of not following them among other things. They also make a patient to understand medical condition involving individual health condition and the process that one has to undergo to recover fully. In this regard, medical service providers should learn how to determine the literacy level of individual patient, and ensure that each patient has the required literacy level to ensure effectiveness of the provided services. To ensure effective evaluation and provision of health literacy the healthcare facility should develop a viable strategy to measure the level of patient or families health literacy. Thus the best way to improve individual literacy level based on individual literacy level to attain the required level for each condition. This is what is lacking in our healthcare facility. Although the facility has a health literacy process or/and policy, the nurses are not comfortable with it and thus, they do not use it. The main aim of this evaluation is to establish the best health literacy strategy that can be employed to enhance health literacy and hence service efficiency in the healthcare facility.
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