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In the case under consideration, Dr. Brent Williams is introduced as a doctor who is good at diagnosing people and treating children, but rather bad at communicating with patients and considering their cultural background. Cultures may operate in different domains, including family, religion, communication, and social development (Skolnik, 2016). In healthcare, cultural and social considerations are also important (Jacobsen, 2014). In this paper, several aspects of the case will be evaluated.
New Aspects with Deeper Context
First, cultural incompetence may be defined as one of the most important aspects of the case. Dr. Williams is introduced as a culturally incompetent doctor who has all chances to jeopardize a sleep study. The peculiar feature of this case is that the doctor does not find it necessary to consider cultural awareness as a factor that may determine care. However, he is ready to use the patient’s culture as a contributing factor to insurance and further treatment. This aspect requires the recognition of deeper context and an understanding of when and how professional doctors become culturally incompetent.
Second, insurance is an aspect that has to be identified. In healthcare, much attention is paid to insurance. For example, Health Insurance Law reforms define and improve the conditions under which patients may use their benefits and share costs on care (Kebede-Francis, 2011). However, the way of how Dr. Williams uses insurance in regard to his patients is new. As soon as he finds out that there is no insurance, he refuses to cooperate with patients. His intolerance impresses. More information is required about the connection between health care and insurance for different patients.
Finally, the aspect of personal evaluations and assumptions should be mentioned. Rita, the nurse, underlines that Dr. Williams lacks cultural awareness and makes assumptions that may negatively influence patient’s treatment and overall health (“A day in the sleep clinic,” 2009). It is a new type of information when doctor’s thoughts and conclusions may change patients’ attitudes to health care, as it happens to the Phan’s family when the father makes a decision never address the same doctor again.
Aspects to Apply in Future Practice
In this case, two aspects may be recognized and used in practice to improve future outcomes. First, the role of initial communication cannot be neglected. If a doctor spends several minutes communicating with patients not about the disease or health problems, but about some personal stuff, it is possible to learn better patients and understand what cultural and social background they have, what language they speak, and what they might know about health care and medicine. Another significant aspect that may be used is cooperation between doctors and nurses. If Dr. Williams started communicating with Rita before visiting patients, it would be possible to learn some new information about these patients, choose a correct way in his communication style, and avoid all negative and inappropriate behaviors.
Confusing Aspect and Questions
The nurse says about the doctor’s inability to learn about cultural differences of patients that leads to cultural incompetence during an examination. However, this point is confusing because the doctor’s position may also be accepted. It is hard for a doctor to use his professional knowledge, diagnose people, and think about insurance details and the ways of how to help patients from the financial point of view simultaneously. Therefore, several questions may be raised to clarify the situation. Who should be aware of cultural considerations in hospitals? Should nurses assist doctors in communicating with patients? Is doctor-nurse communication important before an examination? What kind of information can be mentioned during such communication? If these questions were answered, and more attention was paid to the role of a nurse in communication between doctors and patients, numerous negative outcomes like those observed in this case could be avoided.
A day in the sleep clinic. (2009). Web.
Jacobsen, K. (2014). Introduction to global health (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Kebede-Francis, E. (2011). Global health disparities: Closing the gap through good governance. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Skolnik, R. (2016). Global health 101 (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.