Voices of Our Youth

A Kenan Scholar is a student who is looking to grow through their experiences, willing to understand the perspectives of the community we live in and contribute to developing a better world. To be heard and understood is vital for our patient’s quality of care. The first study conducted by Gianna Jones explained communication is fundamental to high-quality healthcare. Language barriers can cause health disparities in the community. 

According to the study, “55% of patients speak Spanish as a primary language and another 5% speak some other language other than English or Spanish.” The study found interpreters are not only needed for provider interactions, but also language line services are used to make appointments, speak with pharmacy or food pantry staff, and other clinic services 

Language line services break the barrier. It can connect you with professional, on-demand interpreters via audio or video in 30 seconds or less, and interpreters can also be scheduled to meet in person or translate documents. Services are available in more than 240 languages, depending on what you need. “Most patients always found interpreters respectful and polite. Occasionally there were delays with contacting an interpreter, but otherwise, patients felt that interpreters were clear and respected their privacy.” 

The second study, conducted by Chelsea Onyeji, focused on health literacy. Health literacy is the ability to obtain, read, understand, and use healthcare information to make appropriate health decisions and follow treatment instructions. After surveying 47 patients, the study emphasized the importance of tailoring medical instructions to literacy level and type. “The data presented reveals the need to incorporate strategies to improve nutrition literacy as many participants have illnesses that are influenced heavily by dietary habits.”  

Thank you, Gianna and Chelsea, for partnering with us. Research like yours is critical to improving patient outcomes and the quality of healthcare.