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Overcoming Language Barriers in Nursing Practice


This research has taken into consideration a core area of nursing practice, where most of the fellow members face difficulties. Nursing is a noble profession where each of the patients needs to be taken care of with equal importance. Now, if the language is not clear to the doctors and nursing staff then it becomes impossible for the caregivers to manage their issues and to look into their concerns. On the other hand, living in a diverse country possesses several language speakers which is a potential barrier in the way of nursing. The NMC code for nursing is based on four pillar:

Prioritize people

Practice effectively

Preserve safety

Promote professionalism and trust

Effective practices in NMC code explains “working in partnership with people to make sure a person deliver care effectively along with recognizing and respecting the contribution that people can make to their own health and wellbeing”. “The fundamentals of care include, but are not limited to, nutrition, hydration, bladder and bowel care, physical handling and making sure that those receiving care are kept in clean and hygienic conditions.” The NMC code of conduct also asks the staff to treat people as individuals and ensure informed consent. However, language barriers might restrict managing risks and taking good care of patients while information sharing is done with colleagues.

Question formation and Aims of review

The primary research question is identified as “how are the language barriers restricting nursing staff from giving adequate care to patients”? While using research question creator such as PICO framework the potential aims will be represented as:

formation and Aims of review formation and Aims of review

This framework gives an idea of how the potential threat of language inadequacy is being devastated. The research also aims to generalize practices that can be potentially taken into consideration for the management of patient care services and leveraging significant outcomes (Ali, and Watson, 2018). While an alternative communication and guidance method to the patient will be found out it will become easier for the nursing staff to encourage learning and develop a strategy to potentially take care of the people coming with their problems.

Justification for question

The reason behind choosing this topic is because the area of living is identified to be a diverse country and a lot of people don’t speak English. Hence, patient care is being affected as understanding their issues and making them understand whatever nursing staff is suggesting is becoming difficult. This research topic has an ultimate value since none of the researchers had prioritized this topic before and they have not researched on the topic regarding what the patients are going through (Betancourt, Green, and Carrillo, 2019)". Among patients who received treatment from nurses who did not speak the local language, 30% had difficulty understanding medical instructions, 30% had a problem with the reliability of the information, and 50% believed that the language barrier contributed to errors.”


Language barriers can lead to ineffective communication within the healthcare domain which in turn leads towards stress and uncertainty which highly impacts the culturally diverse components and patient-centered care. “The lack of understanding highly causes misunderstandings and misinterpretations between people (Contreras et al. 2020)”. A simple message on healthcare efficacy is prevented from being communicated due to the lack of understanding. The research was highly needed so that the issues could be highlighted as ineffective communication that leads to meeting the patient's needs safely and effectively. The provision of appropriate, timely work of a nurse is restricted without being able to communicate what the patient is supposed to do. Identification of the language gap and building trust with patients is important to define the issue and gain sustainable solutions. Having a professional interpreter or using Google as a translator can be effective in the management of healthcare components.

“Head nodding, hand gestures, facial expressions, eye gazing, touch, and demonstration are identified to be the universal ways to communicate. Language barriers are negatively affecting a nurse's ability to communicate with a patient while ad hoc interpreters can check the facts whether the person understood implicitly and explicitly of communication (Elayyan, Rankin, J. and Chaarani, 2018). Emotional disconnects, lack of source familiarity or credibility, and gender biases can create an environment that is difficult for the nurses to work with. Communication breakdown occurs while people are surrounded by a pool of information without a proper interpretation.


Ethical considerations consist of informed consent and voluntary participation within research. There should be no harm done while researching people participating within. The assessment should focus on relevant components and engage in confidentiality on keeping the information intact. All gathered information should consist of anonymity (Gerchow et al. 2021). The ethical approval process is identified to be a confident one where possible risks have been considered and acceptable risks are managed. Trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, and good citizenship are part of ethical components inside research. For a full UREC approval the minimum time required is 8-12 weeks (Zhao et al. 2021). All secondary forms of resources are ethically gathered and referenced throughout before being used.

Proposed search strategy and critique criteria

The research involves ample amounts of resources all in primary and secondary format to manage individual activities and managing biographies. Data protection act does not require ethical review as the research needs appropriate storage of ethical components (Gottlieb et al. 2019). The research strategy has to be coherent. Based on the filter of the last 10 years all the resources will be collected. The strategies are well planned and have to be updated on the improvement of patient communication. Appropriate patient communication is developed while with the qualitative synthesis of journal names. No records identified through database searching is the first step of the search method. The database will be searched in CINAHL. The database consists of Boolean operators that differentiate the year group from going down more than the last 10 years. In the very first search, there were more than 10 articles with similar types of titles.

PRISMA Statement

The search keyword for this research would be "– how do language barriers affect patient care?" Several additional records identified through other sources are part of the search strategy and critique criteria. Once the identification stage is completed no. of records after duplicates are removed will be managed. No. of records screened will be associated with the no. of records excluded. Exclusion criteria will be outdated journals and inclusivity will encourage the exhaust keyword match within findings (Jacobs et al. 2018)|. The eligibility of the process will match the full-text articles assessed. The full-text articles excluded with reasons add up to the qualitative synthesis. It is also important to understand the no. of studies included in the quantitative synthesis of meta-analysis. Keywords are also going to include systematic indulgence of records through a highlight of check-listed items and circulating the changes required.

Limitations and strength

Authors are ensuring transparent and complete reporting of systematic assessment included in healthcare. Addressing questions to etiology, diagnosis has not been encouraged. Epidemiological and diagnostic accuracy studies need to modify or incorporate additional items for the systematic review of processes (McKee, Moran, and Zazove, 2020). Although a minimalist approach encourages randomized and non-randomized trials of the subject being researched it is important to include core systematic competencies within. A review and overview are limited to the availability of resources. As a part of strength, the informative titles are taken into consideration since the specification of designs indulges inappropriate indexing and referencing. The project is limited due to a lack of monetary resources while the readers are searching database declarative titles to encourage simplifying and exaggerating findings. The more investment done in this project will help researchers gather field information and extract required data from paid resources that are not easily available.

As a part of strength, a structured summary is provided in the research which helps the readers understand predictable implications of key findings. Context is a must in any research, and here the content is tried to be kept on track and the distractions are minimal. It is observed that the status of any project concerns its correctness (Satinsky et al. 2019). The research shows some real data of patients who are being diagnosed with several issues and residing in a country where the language is non-understandable. Identification of true components are associative and the design of records includes an updating of real-time data. An associative rationale is designed through the context of eligibility management and information source encouragement. A learning protocol comprises theoretical and associative learning within research where maximum people are found to be interested in the information providing and explaining numerous possibilities within a core management module.

Time management chart

Time management chart Gantt chart


The research has shown an immense opportunity for the readers to learn about language barriers within the nursing sector. The nursing staff will be more than happy to help each patient. However, the patient needs to understand the language that is being said by the care staff. All staff members have to become competent in handling patients with language barriers. Losing patience or being emotionally challenged might not help in this situation as patients are looking forward to the support being offered to them. Lack of understanding of the English language should not become a barrier to care.

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Ali, P.A. and Watson, R., 2018. Language barriers and their impact on provision of care to patients with limited English proficiency: Nurses' perspectives. Journal of clinical nursing, 27(5-6), pp.e1152-e1160.

Betancourt, J.R., Green, A.R. and Carrillo, J.E., 2019. Cross-cultural care and communication. UpToDate, Waltham, MA Accessed, 7.

Contreras, C.M., Metzger, G.A., Beane, J.D., Dedhia, P.H., Ejaz, A. and Pawlik, T.M., 2020. Telemedicine: patient-provider clinical engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery, 24(7), pp.1692-1697.

Elayyan, M., Rankin, J. and Chaarani, M.W., 2018. Factors affecting empathetic patient care behaviour among medical doctors and nurses: an integrative literature review. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, 24(3), pp.311-318.

Gerchow, L., Burka, L.R., Miner, S. and Squires, A., 2021. Language barriers between nurses and patients: a scoping review. Patient Education and Counseling, 104(3), pp.534-553.

Gottlieb, L., Fichtenberg, C., Alderwick, H. and Adler, N., 2019. Social determinants of health: what’sa healthcare system to do?. Journal of Healthcare Management, 64(4), pp.243-257.

Jacobs, B., Ryan, A.M., Henrichs, K.S. and Weiss, B.D., 2018. Medical interpreters in outpatient practice. The Annals of Family Medicine, 16(1), pp.70-76.

McKee, M., Moran, C. and Zazove, P., 2020. Overcoming additional barriers to care for deaf and hard of hearing patients during COVID-19. JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, 146(9), pp.781-782.

Satinsky, E., Fuhr, D.C., Woodward, A., Sondorp, E. and Roberts, B., 2019. Mental health care utilisation and access among refugees and asylum seekers in Europe: A systematic review. Health Policy, 123(9), pp.851-863.

Zhao, Y., Segalowitz, N., Voloshyn, A., Chamoux, E. and Ryder, A.G., 2021. Language barriers to healthcare for linguistic minorities: The case of second language-specific health communication anxiety. Health communication, 36(3), pp.334-346.

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