Language and cultural issues are some of the biggest barriers in communicating about medicines in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.
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 time and building a trusted relationship can help break down the barriers, making it easier to talk about culturally difficult medicine topics,” says Veronica 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,” she says.
Ms Nou also talks about how vital it is to make sure a customer understands important information about their medicines. She encourages health 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.
Listen to the new NPS MedicineWise podcast episode (or read the full transcript) on the NPS MedicineWise website or listen via your favourite podcast app.
Read more about NSW Multicultural Health Week and resources available in multiple languages to help people understand more about their medicines.