Communication Needs of Hispanic Patients: A Sudden Speechlessness Simulation Scenario

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Carmen Rodriguez, PhD, ARNP, BC
College of Nursing, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Learning Objective 1: identify communication needs distinct to Hispanic participants in a simulated speechless scenario

Learning Objective 2: describe communication priorities and differences/similarities between English-proficient patients with a history of speechlessness and Hispanic participants in the simulated speechless scenario.

Background: Currently, no standards of practice or consistent recommendations exist to guide nurses in the care of hospitalized suddenly speechless patients. Sudden inability to speak is commonly observed as a result of head and neck surgery/trauma and tracheal intubation. For many patients, simple communication strategies in the absence of verbal ability to communicate are difficult, energy-draining, time-consuming, and frustrating. For a particular group of SS patients, Hispanics with limited English proficiency, limitations associated with speechlessness and lack of familiarity with English place them at greater risk. Thus, adaptation of culturally competent interventions to meet this group’s  needs is an essential focus. The conceptual framework for the proposed study is based on the Process of Interpretation in Response to Voicelessness Framework (Happ, 2000).
Purpose: The purpose of this pilot study is to identify whether pictorial symbols and messages identified as helpful by English proficient patients with a history of SS are representative of the communication needs experienced by Hispanic patients. Methods: Participants will be recruited at community agencies accessed by Hispanics. Individuals 18 years or older, able to read and write, and of Hispanic origin will be included. Individuals unable to follow instructions or actively participate in the study for at least 30 minutes will be excluded. Individualized interviews are planned to collect the following data: demographic data, history of speechlessness, needs considered important to communicate after exposure to a simulated scenario, pictorial representation of messages generated by participants and researchers, and descriptions/drawings generated by participants. Descriptive statistics and graphic representation will be used to synthesize data obtained about communication needs and graphic symbols identified by participants.
Results: Research in process

Conclusion: Research in process