The Effects of Language Barriers in the Medical Field: A closer look into a non-profit clinic in the Panhandle of Texas
Abstract: The medical field collectively aims to provide treatment and overall quality care for patients. A question that arises when analyzing its purpose is, what happens when full and complete treatment is compromised due to loss in communication between the patient and the provider? Communication plays a significant role in successful healthcare practice. It is the window to trust, comprehension and reassurance. Therefore, it is important to acknowledge the effects of language barriers in the medical field. The healthcare field is a place where people generally feel vulnerable, afraid, intimidated, and confused. Patients find comfort and guidance in the conversations and reassurance provided by healthcare professionals. For patients that have a language disparity, this is not always the case. Not only are Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients restricted from comfort, but research also indicates that their level of care is significantly diminished due to language barriers. This study aims to analyze previous data in order to showcase the effects of language barriers in the medical field. In addition, this study will examine research performed in a non-profit clinic. The data acquired from the research will allow for further analysis on patients’ perspectives and their experiences in healthcare with language disparities, specifically in the Texas panhandle area.
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