The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down

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A vital foundation for a high-quality care delivery is an efficacious communication between the patient and the healthcare providers (Gengler & Jarrell, 2015). Fadiman (1997) recounted the conflict between a refugee family from Laos and a small hospital in California over the care of Lia Lee, a Hmong girl with severe epilepsy, in her book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. Despite both sides wanting the best care for Lia, the lack of cross-cultural communication between her Hmong family and her American doctors, lead to her tragedy (Fadiman, 1997). Awareness regarding the disparities in culture and language of our patient with ours and how to address them should be taken into account when providing healthcare since the life of a…show more content…
Patients with LEP struggle to communicate with providers, receive inappropriate diagnosis and treatment, experience low quality care, has poor patient satisfaction, decrease comprehension of medication instructions and compliance to the regimen, go to fewer follow up visits, and has a poorer health outcomes (Shi, Lebrun, & Tsai, 2009). Moreover, with the use of professional interpreters, the length of stay and readmission rates can be reduced (Gray & Hardt, 2017). In response to reading this book, I will be utilizing more the services of professional interpreters during the physical therapy session with the patient rather than using ad hoc interpreters such as family, friends, hospital clerks and housekeepers. Professional interpreters improve the quality of clinical care for LEPs to level that for those patients without barriers in language (Gray & Hardt, 2017). Meanwhile, ad hoc interpreters might be bilingual but they have no medical training (Gray & Hardt, 2017). By providing Lia an access to healthcare is what the United States (US) health care system did correctly to the Lee family. “The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’ General Comment states, “Health is a fundamental human right indispensable for the exercise of other human rights. Every human being is entitled to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health conducive to living a
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