Legal / Ethical | Nursing Practices

Patient Barriers in Nursing

  • Various patient barriers exist in healthcare that can complicate the facilitation of quality care.  
  • Common patient barriers include different languages, and differing patient cultures. 
  • Using resources available to you such as cultural competency training, and translation services can help you feel more confident in the care you provide, all while making the patient feel better informed and safe.

Danwil Janz Reyes


May 19, 2022
Simmons University

Many nurses are not very comfortable providing nursing care to a patient of a different language and/or different culture due to the fear of not being able to communicate. However, there are ways to overcome these patient barriers and provide quality care.  

First, make sure that you are patient and persistent in your attempts to help the language barrier between you and your patient. Second, you need to familiarize yourself with your patient’s culture. Third, use a language translator or a co-worker who can speak and understand your patient to translate for you.

Different Languages

The healthcare setting is a complex and ever-changing environment. As such, it is important for those who work in the healthcare field to be familiar with popular phrases and words used in the setting.  

As a nurse, you must understand the basics of the language in which you are providing care. You need to learn common phrases and words that will be used in the healthcare setting such as “How are you today?,” “Would you like me to call a doctor?,” “We need to get you admitted to the hospital,” “I’m going to give you an injection,” “I need to take your blood pressure,” etc.  

The common phrases and words above are just a few of the phrases that healthcare professionals use on a daily basis. They are essential in communicating with patients and ensuring they receive the best care possible.  

This knowledge can help them to better communicate with patients and colleagues, and to understand the concerns and needs of their patients.  

Some of these phrases may seem trivial, but they can have a large impact on the patient’s experience. Finally, use a variety of methods of communication, such as gestures, expressions, and written materials if necessary.

patient barriers in healthcare

Different Cultures

Many health care providers believe that a patient’s familiarity with other cultures can help to improve their care. The nurses’ familiarity with other cultures can be beneficial in the healthcare setting. 

Cultural competence is increasingly being recognized as an important skill for nurses. Understanding and caring for patients from other cultures can be challenging, but it is essential to providing quality care.  

Carefully preparing for encounters with patients from other cultures can help nurses to be sensitive and knowledgeable about their needs. Cultural competency education can help nurses understand the beliefs and customs of different groups of people, so that they can provide quality care. 

Patients are often more comfortable when they feel that those who provide care for them share their culture. This is especially important in areas such as healthcare, where cross-cultural communication can be crucial to providing the best possible service. 

 In order to ensure that patients feel at ease, it is important for healthcare professionals to be familiar with the cultural norms of their patients. This knowledge can enable them to better understand the patient’s needs and communicate effectively with them. 


patient barriers as a nurse

Tools and Services to Help Overcome Patient Barriers

Translators, also known as interpreters, play a vital role in health care by providing accurate and timely translations for patients and doctors. By using translators, patients can communicate more effectively with their doctors, and healthcare providers can provide better care for their patients.  

Interpreters also help to prevent communication breakdowns between different cultures and languages, which can lead to improved patient care. 

Translation is an essential tool for patient care. It can help patients understand healthcare information and procedures, as well as connect with healthcare providers in their own language. These are additional tips on how to use a translator effectively. 

Translation can also help patients communicate with family and friends who are not fluent in the patient’s language.  

By using a translator, healthcare providers can provide quality care to all their patients. Translation ensures that patient information is accurately conveyed.

Translation can also help to reduce the risk of miscommunication or misunderstanding, which can ultimately lead to better patient care. Translation should not be seen as just a recommendation, but as a requirement to ensure that patients have a full understanding of their care plan to give informed consent. 

Finally, use a variety of methods of communication, such as gestures, expressions, and written materials if necessary. Your patients in this category will like and admire you for your effort in trying to help them.

patient barriers in languages

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, overcoming the common patient barriers in providing nurse care is possible with effort and perseverance. By using some of the techniques mentioned in this article, nurses can improve communication with their patients, which will ultimately lead to better care.  

It is important to remember that every patient is different and will require a different approach, so don’t be discouraged if one method doesn’t work for you. Keep trying until you find something that does. And finally, always keep the patient’s best interests at heart.

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