Published on 31/03/12 at 13:18:12 GMT by Redaksjonen
Norway: Every tenth citizen in Østfold has another native language than Norwegian. Recent statistical data from Statistics Norway shows that this ratio will increase to about 1 out of 4 within the year.
To meet the future linguistic challenges, Østfold Hospital developed language communication portfolios in 14 different languages. Download the portfolios here at morsmal.org
Communication with patients who have a mother tongue other than Norwegian may be challenging. In cases where the patient cannot make themselves understandable to health professionals in their native language, the lack of communication may lead to misunderstandings and unwanted situations.
Previous research shows also that better communication between healthcare professionals and patients contributes to a faster and more effective treatment. Better communication leads to increased safety, reduced stress and helping patients to get better insight into the treatment.
To meet the challenges, the Østfold Hospital developed a multilingual communication portfolio for language minorities. The portfolios contain frequently asked questions, messages and information to patients and illustrated with simple symbols. The b portfolios contain a total of 40 questions and are translated into 14 languages:
The language portfolios contain translated questions about pain, bed rest and care, food, birth and treatment.
Director of communication at Østfold Hospital, Anne Grethe Erlandsen, photo: Østfold Hospital
- The communications portfolio has been developed by intensive care nurses Anne Borgny Boe, Rigmor Botnen and Wenche Anfinsen and were funded by development project in Østfold Hospital, said director of communications at Østfold Hospital, Anne Grethe Erlandsen.
Grethe emphasizes that the language communication portfolios should not be used as a substitute for the interpreting services, but as a tool in situations where it is necessary to communicate and an interpreter is not available.
- We believe that this rather simple aid to improve communication between patients and health professionals with photos and short texts can overcome language barriers, says Erlandsen.
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