Some of the biggest barriers in communicating information about medicines to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities are language and cultural issues.
One way of breaking down these barriers is by building trusted relationships so that people from CALD communities feel safe to open up various medicine-related topics and issues they may be experiencing.
In a special episode of the NPS MedicineWise podcast for NSW Multicultural Health Week (7-11 September), Western Sydney Pharmacist, Veronica Nou speaks with NPS MedicineWise Medical Adviser and GP, Dr Anna Samecki about her experience communicating about medicines in CALD communities.
“Taking the time and building a trusted relationship can help break down the barriers, making it easier to talk about culturally difficult medicine topics,” says Ms Nou.
“People can be intimidated talking about some health problems, and the pharmacy, being a less formal healthcare setting, can help to open the dialogue.”
Ms Nou says it’s important for healthcare professionals, including pharmacy staff, to make sure a customer understands important information about their medicines.
To help with language barriers, she encourages healthcare professionals to use the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) – a free 24-hour interpreting service, provided by the Department of Home Affairs.
“It’s too easy for us, as healthcare professionals, to think there will always be someone at home who can read and explain the medicine leaflet.
“That is not how it always works out. We sometimes need to take a step back. If I let this person go out the door without knowing what they are doing, then it is really on me.”
For more information on NSW Multicultural Health Week, visit: multiculturalhealthweek.com
To listen to the new NPS MedicineWise podcast episode, visit: nps.org.au/podcast/episode-13-talking-about-medicines-in-culturally-and-linguistically-diverse-communities