Distiction 1 Unit 1

In this report I am going to analyse how culture variations can influence communication, by for example inhibiting communication. I will also explain how culture beliefs can affect communication and how these beliefs can affect conduct while communicating. Because of these barriers, care worker need to adapt when communicating with service user, so I will explain how they should adapt when interacting with people of different culture backgrounds.

Patients differ in many ways. Some of these differences are due to patient illness, personality, socioeconomic class, or education, but the most profound differences may be cultural. Many health professionals think that if they just treat each patient with respect, they will avert most cultural problems. But that is not always the case. Some knowledge of cultural customs can help avoid misunderstandings and enable practitioners to provide better care.
People with different culture have: different ways of looking at things; different ways of dressing; different ways of expressing personality/goodness.
These differences can cause problems interpreting what the other person is doing. For example in the US, a firm, short handshake indicates self-confidence and (heterosexual) masculinity. A limp handshake by a man can be interpreted (usually wrongly) as a sign of homosexuality. But in most parts of Africa, a limp handshake is the correct way to do it. Furthermore, it is common in Africa for the handshake to last several minutes, while in the US a handshake that is even a few seconds too long is interpreted as familiarity, warmth and possibly sexual attraction.
According to Michie et al (2011), “body language can be interpreted differently by different cultures”. Something as simple as a smile can display friendliness in one culture, embarrassment in another, impatience in a third. Even silence means different things in different places. When a care worker is trying to communicate through a language barrier, “it’s...