The hidden side of clinical practice

“I’m here to learn and ill do whatever that’s in my power to show hunger in acquiring knowledge in every block this year.” I said, last year March. If there is anything i learned about myself after that is “i have changed mentally”. If its not broken dont fix it, right? until I realized that actually there were some discrepancies in whatever knowledge i had about how clinical settings were.I viewed the world differently then than I do now. I established my strengths and weaknesses within all blocks last year;which made me realise that clinical practice was linked somehow to our psychological well being.

I never for a moment thought a language would cause such a barrier in my learning until I had to basically know the language in order to learn.regardless of how i got flooded with information i never learnt before in class;  I already had my own perspective of how stressful and draining clinical practice was going to affect my thinking, mood and behavior after the first day. I was anxious and overwhelmed about how i was going to address my inability to reach most of my patient’s needs. Language barriers in healthcare poses as one of the detrimental issues that is not addressed systemically.”Understanding language in the context of a medical encounter is thus critical for understanding the problems that might result when patients and healthcare practitioners speak different Languages(Renata F.I Meuter et al.,2015)”

Change the way you think about disagreements with others, and how you behave during conflict. Be willing to engage directly, constructively, and collaboratively with either yourself, your colleagues and patients  (Cloke & Goldsmith, 2011). Yes I had conflicts with my patients and it wasnt about if i could speak the language but it was simply about how to go forward because at the end of the day i did want the patients to feel different than they did before they approached me. This affected me mentally/ psychologically and still is for some reason because i fear that i might not be of any assistance to my patients if we had no baseline.Every night I would go look for ways I’d communicate with my patients but never got a clear method of how else I  could help them until I realised they will have to teach me the basics of this language so we build good working environment and be effective at the same time.

This puts much pressure on so many people(me included); learning a new language was adding to my workload. I looked at this one sided not taking into consideration that this was actually a learning experience. I never thought of neuroplasticity or how grey matter in the brain would help me with memory formation, muscle control, sensory perception and lastly learning a new language.

Meuter R.F.I, Gallois C, Segalowitz N.S, Ryder A.G & Hocking J (2015).Overcoming language barriers in healthcare: A protocol for investigating safe and effective communication when patients or clinicians use a second language.BMC Health Services Research 15:371

Cloke K., & Goldsmith J.(2011). Resolving Conflicts at Work: Ten Strategies for Everyone on the Job, 3rd Edition.




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