Prepared and presented by Paula Schultz BSN, RN, CNRN, UH Seidman Cancer Center, Office of Patient and Public Education
Creating an environment where patients are allowed and encouraged to tell their illness story is a crucial yet often overlooked component of cultural competence in healthcare settings.
A factor that often gets overlooked when it comes to cultural competence is the patient’s “voice” or “narrative and reflection” about their illness. Healthcare providers tend to be disease focused, while patients seek medical care because of their illness. This can cause disconnect to happen from a provider’s treatment of disease and a patient’s need for treatment of illness. Studies show that allowing and encouraging patients to tell their illness story can be transformative to the patient and provide important knowledge about the individual to the healthcare provider. Yet, narrative and reflection is a topic many are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with.
Cultural Competency in ACTION: Steps to start your journey!
List 3 self-reflection questions or items to consider related to the topic.
- What concerns do I have about allowing and encouraging patients to tell their illness story?
- Are my concerns based on experiences I’ve had with patient narrative and reflection–or—am I concerned about potential problems I anticipate will occur?
- How willing am to make changes that encourage and allow patients to tell their illness story?
List 3 strategies or action steps that will help the reader enhance their skills in the topic area.
- Consider the patient’s experience of illness as a crucial part of patient centered culturally competent care.
- Identify the distinction between disease and illness in order to bring the patient’s view into focus.
- Apply communication methods to enhance cultural competence by allowing and encouraging patient narrative and reflection.
Presentation with Voice-over
Eliciting the Patient’s Experience of Illness through Narrative and Reflection by Paula Schultz BSN, RN, CNRN; UH Seidman Cancer Center, Office of Patient and Public Education
This 10 minute PowerPoint presentation (http://youtu.be/bJDob4vxaDk) considers the rationale behind and methods for eliciting the patient’s experience of illness as a crucial part of patient centered, culturally competent care.