Culture is a pattern of many concepts, beliefs, values, habits, skills, instruments,
and art of a given group of people in a given period.
Multicultural communication is the ability to communicate effectively with
individuals of other cultures while recognizing ones own person cultural biases
and prejudices and putting them aside.
Three important actions to promote multicultural communication are
1) To become knowledgeable about the belief and values of different cultures
2) To develop techniques that build and foster multicultural communication
3) To recognize barriers to multicultural communication.
Therapeutic communication is goal oriented
8 Barriers to Therapeutic Transcultural communication
1) Lack of Knowledge
2) Fear & Distrust
Race includes any of the major biological division of mankind,
distinguished by color and texture of hair, color of skin, and eyes, stature
bodily proportions. Racism implies racial discrimination, segregation, and
The elimination of racism in an individual begins with knowledge and the
examination of conscious and unconscious attitudes regarding race and
culture. The next step is a commitment to change these attitudes.
4) Prejudice, Bias & Ethnocentrism
Bias is a slant toward a particular belief. Prejudice is an opinion or
judgment that is formed before all of the facts are known; prejudice is
usually preconceived and unfavorable.
Ethnocentrism is the belief that ones own culture and traditions are better
than those of another.
Consists of attributing an unvarying description or pattern to a person with
no allowance for individuality. Stereotyping says that all individuals of a
particular culture are exact alike.
6) Healthcare Rituals
Standardized procedure or protocols followed during a client visit
The dialect of the client must be considered
Dialect as well as regionalism may also be encountered with English-
African Americans sometimes use a street language called Ebonics. 8) Differences in Perceptions and Expectations
Perceptions are insights or intuitions of which we care consciously aware.
Perception takes sensory data and personalizes it into images of reality.
Expectations are the events we anticipate based on experience or
Communication context refers to the style of communication used by a speaker.
Two styles of communication context are defined: low and high.
Low context communication utilizes few environmental or cultural idioms to
convey an idea or concept, but relies mainly on explicit and highly detailed
- Low context communication =direct and in your face
o speaker often thought of as being rude b/c of directness of speech
High context communication greater reliance on body language, reference to
objects in environment, and culturally relevant phraseology to convey an idea
- High context communication assumes speaker + listener both have
knowledge regarding subject
- high context communication indirect, seems forever to reach conclusion
o high speaker often thought of being less educated or mentally slow
No communication style is superior to another; important to remember that both
speaker and listener should be cognizant of style being used
Individuals having a future time focus are usually confident that their basic needs
of food and shelter will be met, and are willing to sacrifice immediate gratification
for better returns in the future.
Future oriented individuals are very time conscious and plan out their day and
lives in considerable detail.
They are usually prompt for appointments and expect the same of others.
Individuals with a present time focus are less assured that their needs will be
satisfied. It is difficult to develop future plans when the basic items in the
Hierarchy of needs have not been met. It is interesting to note that in cultures
where basic needs are provided in abundance, there is also the tendency to have a
present time focus.
Children in almost all cultures are present time focused.
Present oriented people, regardless of the reason for the orientation d not look on
time as being as important as do future orientated people and tend to be careless
about promptness. Past time focus is associated with culture and longstanding tradition. Past oriented
people revere traditions and usually honor elders, both living and dead, as well as
animals and nature spirits. Asian cultures and Native American cultures frequently
exhibit some past orientation.
Culture & Religion have a greater effect on the attitudes relating to medical
treatment and therapeutic communication than race and physical characteristics.
Paradigms, the unconscious part of our culture result in behavior or choices that
may mystify both client and medical personnel
Ex/ A clients unwillingness to be treated by a female physician may result from
the paradigm that all Doc’s are male.
High acceptance of Western medicine, relying on Pharmaceutical products and
surgical procedures to treat illness and disease.
They often take the time to complete extensive research regarding their condition
Immediate family serving as care giver.
Similar to white people, the greatest difference is in how they focus on time. This
group is more likely has a present time focus that can result in placing less
importance on punctuality and a lesser disposition toward preventive medicine.
The extended family is the predominant caregiver.
This can be a problem with the HIPAA regulation for privacy unless steps are
taken to obtain authorization for release of information from the client.
Accept western medicine but often exhibit a predisposition toward home remedies
combined with cures based in spiritualism.
The primary caregiver is a relative or a member of the extended family, which
may include people having tribal affiliation.
Present time focused and is not likely to place a great amount of importance on
punctuality, nor do they lean toward preventive medicine.