Health Literacy

Learning Goal: I’m working on a health & medical discussion question and need guidance to help me learn.

The concept of health literacy is crucial to understand for any healthcare professional. In the future, you will be exposed to individuals from various cultures and backgrounds. Your clients may come from different socio-economic and educational backgrounds with varying skills and abilities pertaining to communication, reading, and writing. Their ability to understand and process health-related information could certainly impact their decisions and behaviors regarding chronic disease prevention and treatment interventions. In addition, your ability level to relay appropriate health-related information can directly affect the clients’ adherence to a health and wellness plan.

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After familiarizing yourself with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Quick Guide to Health Literacy, address the subsequent elements:

  • Forecast how health literacy will be relevant in your future professional role.
  • Assess possible challenges that may arise relating to health literacy (i.e. with colleagues, adolescent and adult clients, and the community).
  • Create three strategies on how these challenges could be overcome.

Use two scholarly sources to support your research and findings. The Scholarly, Peer Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.
All sources must be referenced and cited according to APA guidelines, as outlined in the Writing Center. Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length.

Guided Response: Respond to at least two classmates by Day 7. Each peer reply should contain 100 words at a minimum. In each response, compare and contrast your health literacy responses and role as a future healthcare provider to those of your peers.

Reply

Replies

 

Matthew Gaunt

Sep 10, 2021 at 12:01 PM

Health literacy is relevant in my future professional role because as a health care provider, I must be able to understand and communicate basic health information and services to my colleagues, patients, and clients. Understanding the medical terminology will help my occupation role in comprehending and assessing important health information. Being health literate allows health care professionals to make the best decisions regarding their patient’s quality of life. Being literate will also improve my ability to communicate with caregivers and family members to understand what doctors and other health care providers are communicating (Zhang et al., 2021). This in turn helps guide them to make smart healthcare choices, improving their communication with doctors and give them the information required to advocate for themselves in a medical setting.

Possible challenges that may arise relating to health literacy is if the wrong information is provided, it can lead to consequences to a patient’s and their families personal health and quality of life. If inaccurate information is communicated, a patient may not understand essential things such as how and when to take a prescribed medication. They also may not know when it is appropriate to go to the emergency room rather than a primary care doctor or how to explain signs and symptoms they are experiencing correctly. Other challenges from the lack of health literacy include when patients don’t understand health information and instructions, they are more likely to have worse health outcomes and unnecessarily use emergency room services (VanPuymbrouck et al., 2021) Misdiagnosis can lead to a poor prognosis.

Strategies on how these challenges could be overcome include alternate forms of communication when speaking to patients, caregivers, and family members about health-related topics (Halm, 2021). Using simplified language and visual aids such as pictures and videos to share information with patients. As a health care provider, I should have good bedside manner and assume all patients have a limited understanding of the procedures and information around their health care and conditions. That way I can ensure all patients are receiving easy to understand information and I can answer any questions right away instead of assuming they already know and are cognitively aware. Taking good notes and writing down any questions or concerns patients may have for providers ahead of their appointments will allow them to easily refer to their doctor’s instructions. Another good strategy is to repeat all information back to the patient in laymen’s terms so we can together potentially correct any miscommunications that may occur.

References

Halm, M. A. (2021). When Stakes Are High and Stress Soars: Addressing Health Literacy in the Critical Care Environment. American Journal of Critical Care30(4), 326–330. https://doi-org.proxy-library.ashford.edu/10.4037/…

VanPuymbrouck, L., Carey, J., Draper, A., & Follansbee, L. (2021). Recognizing Inequity: A Critical Step of Health Literacy for People With Disability. American Journal of Occupational Therapy75(4), 1–11. https://doi-org.proxy-library.ashford.edu/10.5014/…

Zhang, F., Or, P. P. L., & Chung, J. W. Y. (2021). How different health literacy dimensions influences health and well‐being among men and women: The mediating role of health behaviours. Health Expectations24(2), 617–627. https://doi-org.proxy-library.ashford.edu/10.1111/…

 

Tonilyn Wenstrom

Sep 14, 2021 at 11:23 AM

Forecast how health literacy will be relevant in your future professional role.

According to the CDC, health literacy can be separated and defined between personal and organizational. Personal health literacy refers to the personal degree to which individuals can find, understand, and use information and services to help make educated decisions and actions for themselves and their families. Organizational refers to creating and sharing health information to enable individuals to find, understand and use information and services for themselves and their families. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019) In my future professional role, health literacy will be relevant as I would manage staff to create and distribute material that is understandable for the population we are trying to encourage healthy changes.

Assess possible challenges that may arise relating to health literacy (i.e. with colleagues, adolescent and adult clients, and the community).

A challenge that may arise is not fully understanding the literacy issues in our area; to make changes that will benefit our members, we must first understand the current situation and implement organization assessment tools to collect that data. (Assess Health Literacy in Your Organization | Health Literacy | CDC, 2019) Specifically, working for insurance can come with challenges when creating education material to fit the many different populations we serve. Many of the difficulties that would arise relating to health literacy would be around our Medicaid population. Most times, these members are also our poverty and low-income members; these members usually have a lower education level, and making health educational information that is easy to find and understand could be challenging.

Create three strategies on how these challenges could be overcome.

The first strategy would include only introducing educational health information at or below a sixth-grade reading level; this way, more individuals will understand and use the information. (CMS, 2020) Secondly, I will be strategic on where the information is placed for sharing purposes, including a two-click maximum on our site and having printable materials for distribution. Lastly, ensuring all of our educational material is translated to Spanish as many members understand English as their second language; this will allow for a better understanding of the materials shared.

References:

Assess Health Literacy in Your Organization | Health Literacy | CDC. (2019, October 18). Www.cdc.gov. https://www.cdc.gov/healthliteracy/researchevaluate/organization-assessment-tools.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). What is Health Literacy? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/healthliteracy/learn/index.html

CMS. (2020). Toolkit Part 7: Using readability formulas | CMS. Www.cms.gov. https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreac…

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Matthew Gaunt