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Nursing Article Review

Subject: Nursing
Number of words/pages: 1276 words/5 pages
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The article authored by Lambert andKeogh (2014) intensifies their argument on the issue of health literacy and its significance in the effective health communication. The authors note that there have been some hidden barriers to effective health communication. These barriers have been deteriorating effective duty of nurses across the world concerning provision of health care on children as well as parents. In their findings, Lambert and Keogh (2014) contend that nurses have a duty to provide health care, however, the level of care provided by the nurses emanates from clear health information that the children as well as the parents convey to the nurses. The findings of the article also unveiled that children and parents have the duty and right to ensure that they comprehend all healthcare information that tend to propel nurses to make informed decisions regarding to care level that a patient needs. Despite the effort made by different health institutions to investigate the issue of health literacy, scholars have only been aiming at conducting investigations among the adults. This has been portraying little effort channeled towards improving the health literacy among the children. The authors argue that children’s nurses have to be informed of the challenges that parents as well as the children face in effective communication and participation in health care. One noted challenge that tends to affect effectiveness of information revealed by children and adults to the nurses is the issue of stigma and shame (Lambert & Keogh, 2014). For instance, adults having low level of literacy are bound to experience shame, embarrassment and discrimination that affects the information they rely to the health officials. It was in their findings that Lambert and Keogh (2014) that they relied on a study that showed the relationship existing between shame as well as low literacy amongst 202 patients falling between the ages of 18 up to 88 who demanded acute care in an American hospital. Among those patients, 40% of them were quick to explain that they had difficulties when it came to reading and this led to them feeling ashamed. For that reason, 67% of those patients involved had also concealed the same from their spouses, while 53.4% had also concealed the same from their children and 19% had never disclosed their shame of not knowing to read to anyone else including the health practitioners (Lambert & Keogh, 2014). Thus, this hindered the type of health care that a nurse needed to apply on the patients. Remarkably, the type of health care provided to patients tends to differ depending on the state of a patient. For instance, patients who are very delicate or rather having some dangerous infection that can accelerate their death requires more advanced care as compared to patients who have gained a stable state. Besides, children and adolescents report shame and stigma related to various chronic illness. It is for this reason that the authors conclude that both children and parents having limited literacy find the process of revealing information to the nurses overwhelming and humiliating. This affects the type of health care that the nurses can apply on them thus affecting the professional roles of the nurse’s worldwide (Lambert & Keogh, 2014).


It is evident that effective communication in the health fraternity is factor that dictates the type of health care to be applied on a specific patient. Besides, effective communication is a factor that aids in improvements of health literacy. However, provision of information does not only entail offering it but also health care officials need to understand the provided information. Undeniably, patients cannot understand symbols as well as medical terminologies used by clinical officers since they tend to be complicated. Thus, being that the patients cannot attest to the different writing of the health officials, they need nurses to make them fully understand the writings as well as the terminologies to limit incidents of taking inappropriate medicine or receiving an incoherent treatment. In view of the issue of health literacy, the authors comes up with a mnemonic called DIRECT that aids the nurses in assessing the literacy of patients (Lambert & Keogh, 2014).

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  • D stands for asking the patient about a difficult reading,
  • I stands for asking the patients whether they have an interest of improving,
  • R stands for ensuring that referral information is always ready for the patients
  • E- Asking everyone information regarding to their perceived literacy skills
  • C- Emphasizing that low level of health literacy entails a common issue in the health institutions.
  • T- Terminate the barriers that might hinder patients on joining literacy classes and providing effective care.

Essentially, concerning the professional development of nurses, they ought to be more sensitive to identify, alert and subtle warning signs in cases of low health literacy. This enables the nurses to adopt a universal health literacy precaution that will aid in deciding on appropriate actions to take concerning health literacy in health communication.

Training Requirement

To overcome the challenge of heath literacy, both nurses, children and parents need to undergo specific training that will aid in improving effective health communication. As noted earlier, health literacy is one of the current issues that tends to affect the nursing profession. Thus, any improvement done on improving the effective health communication leads to a significance advancement in the health care delivery. To achieve this kind of improvement, three parties need to be involved. For instance, training intensified on nurses, children and parents will create some sense of simplicity in understanding between these three parties that improves health literacy. Remarkably, a patient in any health institution will be either a child or an adult. It is for this reason that the study made a generalization of children and adults in recommended various avenues of commencing of training on effectivecommunication on healthinstitutions. Thus, training the nurses on numerous tools used for gauging health literacy like REALM will not only increase the effectiveness of health communication but also makes the patient to be open in giving health information. Conversely, training the adults on some of the simple health facts such as dosage of drugs as well as time of dosage will aid in making the work of nurses easier. However, for patients who require palliative care, the nurses ought to have high professional skills in taking care of such. These skills can only of significance under intensive training of the nurses.

Reasons for Choosing the Article

The ideology behind the issue of health literacy have been leading to emergence of numerous question on better ways of incorporating effective communication in health institutions. It is for this reason that I found the article to be more significant it outlines various measures of solving the issue of health literacy in health institutions globally. Besides, there having been cases of people losing their lives because there was a hindered communication between the patient and the nurse. For instance, the patient might fail to say the exact thing that he or she feels because of embarrassment or shame of his or her situation. This might culminate to the health of the patients because the nurse will be having a hard task of guessing the feeling of the patients. This creates chances of inappropriate health care delivery administered on patients that leads to lose of lives. Such cases heightens question on the competency of nurses that affects the nursing profession. Therefore, improvement of health literacy through devising various ways of effective communication between patient and nurses is a factor that affect the improvement of health care delivery in the world.

1. Lambert, V., & Keogh, D. (2014). Health literacy and its importance for effective communication. Part 1. Nursing children and young people, 26(3), 31-37.

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