Poor grasp of English among nurses

Following this article that appeared on the BBC website, one ponders if the poor grasp of English could result in miscommunication with the doctors as well.

In Malaysia, the nurses are no better in their command of English. There are enough occasions when the nurses do not understand the orders that were either given verbally or written. This might perhaps be the reason why not many nurses are interested in following the doctors’ rounds, apart from their daily routine chores.

Command of English is not compulsory for entry into nursing schools. Many feel that this requirement may be a deterrent to applicants for a field that is in severe shortage.

However, there needs to be a standard way of communication between medical staffs. Similar to the universal use of English in air travel to avoid confusion, this practice has to be incorporated into medical practice to ensure that uniformity in standard is maintained.

Does the same term, when translated actually carries the same meaning? This is a difficult question to answer.

As English is used widely in medical practice among doctors, nurses have to follow a similar trend. This will ensure that miscommunication and the resulting medical negligence is at a minimal level.

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