Health Literacy And Health Care

1386 WordsMar 6, 20176 Pages
Healthcare is changing every day with the intention to improve and enhance quality care to patients and the community. The ability to understand and act on health information is one of the main issue in healthcare today. A professional nurse is required to provide care and information for patients and their families. Patient and families have the right to able to understand medical information which would empower them to make informed decisions about their care (Lambert et al. 2013). Improving Health Literacy in healthcare settings allows greater understanding of information and knowledge which would improve patient care. Being health literate is not only about reading and learning but is about understanding health information and…show more content…
For instance, if a provided explained to the patient on how to take their prescribe medication and patient could not comprehend and follow the directions, the patient might end up taking too much or less of the drug which would lead to adverse outcomes. Providing information is not all about the offering, but making sure patients understood it. Health literacy has also been linked to a particular group of people, including the older adults (regardless of educational level), non-speaking English patients, and individuals with general literacy. With the elderly decline in cognitive and sensory changes and some with chronic illnesses, it can be challenging to comprehend and recall all health information. Low health literacy in adults has been linked to constant hospitalization rate, the inability to manage chronic sicknesses, and high death rate. (Speros, 2009). “More than 75 million Americans, 36 percent of the population, have low health literacy as determined by the 2003 National Adult Literacy Survey” (Scott, 2016). It can be difficult to know if patients understand instructions that are given to them about their health. It is vital as a professional nurse to look for warning signs such as “I forgot my glasses, I’ll read this instruction when I get home” (Lambert et al. 2013). Nurses should also look for others signs for instance, a patients having difficulty explaining medical concerns and if the patient can only identify medicines by looking at them not
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