Health literacy is essential not only for the patients who need it but also for the healthcare specialists that may find it useful. Dealing with different types of patients is stressful, and the right amount of patience and concern are needed. Since the providers can never fully know a patient’s attitudes, emotions, and thoughts, the struggle in giving care is crucial.
When we face the possibility of experiencing pain, harm, or loss, avoidance provides quick, effective relief. However, avoidance in the realm of mental health is often a devious trap. — Noam Shpancer Ph.D.
- Common signs of inadequate health literacy include submitting incomplete patient’s form, not writing down medical instruction, missed appointments, and not taking prescribed medications. Since the patient is not well-known about his condition, there is a tendency that he might end up creating excuses not to follow medical treatments and procedure. That is why health literacy is needed to give patients the chance to freely decide for their own, knowing that they understand their roles in the process of attaining a better health development.
- Using audiovisuals can help the patients understand medical information more clearly. It may allow them to retain information in their long-term memory since more than one of their senses is functioning. So instead of a verbal explanation, pictures and videos are great options. Health care providers and patients can have a focused discussion about different types of condition and might tackle the client’s medical concerns in particular as well.
- With regards to medical treatments, health care providers must learn to demonstrate the process whenever it is necessary properly. Not because the patients know how to read and write, it doesn’t give them the full potential to understand what’s going on around them. They can easily get lost and confused with tons of information that they have. So to give the patients a chance to get involved in keeping their overall health, there’s a need for a proper explanation of what, how, and why medical procedures and treatments are necessary.
People may also avoid information by simply not paying proper attention to the information at hand. — Alain Samson Ph.D.
- Convey an essential concept of why getting better health is vital for living. The ability to take advantage of the situation by providing health information is what the patients need. That’s why health care professionals have to explain clearly and accurately. The provider must depend on the verbal and non-verbal signals from the client because not all patients know what they are dealing with and not all of them are capable of understanding information in an instant. Nevertheless, the optimum value of presenting information in layman’s term is quite beneficial, especially for those people who have a hard time thoroughly learning it.
- The best patient-provider relationship is a partnership. Since there is no correlation of what the provider believes with regard to the correct interpretation of the patients’ behavior, there is a need for repetition of explanation. Health care specialists can think that patients can’t get better. However, they must encourage them to actively participate in health care instead. Patients must consider self-management and gather self-confidence from resources such as family support, peer connection, health education, social and environment involvement.
Doctors aren’t mind-readers. If you’re not sharing information because you believe it is too sensitive or irrelevant to your visit, please reconsider. — Joe Wegmann P.D., L.C.S.W.
- Break the communication problem and learn to get to know the patients’ personalities. The patients’ perception of the cause of their medical condition might come from various factors, social and environmental in particular. Therefore, health care providers should understand the quality of food the patients eat, intonation, posture, approach, usual gestures, the degree of eye contact, and diet-related illnesses. A patient can immediately refuse health care, so for them to stay in touch health care providers must meticulously make a connection.
These strategies help promote health literacy that ensures the patients’ proactive involvement with their health care. Without health literacy, patients may reject treatment, may not comply, may not follow instructions, or may fail to return for follow up care.