Publication
Title
A needs analysis for communication by pharmacists in a multilingual setting : first steps towards syllabus and materials design
Author
Abstract
Despite the efforts to manage South Africa's language and culture diversity, in practice, the linguistic landscape has become increasingly English. This is problematic in contexts such as rural areas where people are not able to communicate in English, and communication on even a fairly proficient level is not a given. Medical contexts, in particular, may create critical situations of practical (life or death) importance, as healthcare professionals are not necessarily trained or equipped to communicate in an efficient and culturally sensitive manner. Moreover, healthcare communication challenges are manifold because of the diverse views on the nature of a medical encounter. This article reports on the first empirical steps taken to bridge the communication gap between patient and medical practitioner (specifically pharmacists). These steps include identifying an appropriate theoretical framework, developing and conducting a needs analysis (among 255 pharmacists who are experts-by-experience), and designing a syllabus and course materials. The findings show that most respondents experience communication in a foreign language to be significantly more problematic than communication in general. Additionally, the qualitative data suggest that support is needed especially for African languages. Language learning materials should cover a wide range of professional topics supplemented with a communication module focusing primarily on history taking and ensuring the correct use of medication. Most importantly, learning materials should be to-the-point and easy to apply, as most practitioners have limited time. These findings might, in turn, inform policy issues regarding responsible and efficient functioning in a multilingual professional environment, where clear and transparent communication can be a matter of life or death.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Stellenbosch papers in linguistics / University of Stellenbosch. Department of General Linguistics. - Stellenbosch, 1978, currens
Publication
Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, Department of General Linguistics, 2015
ISSN
1027-3417 [print]
2223-9936 [online]
Volume/pages
44(2015), p. 189-212
ISI
000370880400010
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Law 
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 29.02.2016
Last edited 08.11.2017
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