Mind experiment - Diversity
We present you with a thought experiment. Here you see a summary of the specific target groups that are discussed in this book:
- The elderly, very old elderly people;
- Chronically ill;
- People with a sensory impairment: visually impaired, blind, hard of hearing and deaf;
- Mentally challenged people;
- People with a psychiatric disorder;
- People with addiction problems;
- People who can not read and write well English;
- migrants, people whose native language is not English;
- Migrants with a non-western cultural background.
Question in this thought experiment
1. In practice you get to deal with behavioral problems, such as: aggression, claiming behavior, failing to comply with agreements, not cooperating with research or treatment.
A. In which target groups can, according to you, more often prevent behavioral problems? Does that have to do with the target group characteristics?
B. Does this behavior also occur in other people? If that is not due to their target group characteristics, what causes this behavior? Or when, in what situation?
2. In practice you have to deal with people who have limited health skills: they can not find, understand, discuss and apply information about health problems.
A. Which target groups do you, according to you, have more limited health skills?
B. Are there also people from these target groups that do handle health information well?
Conclusions from this thought experiment
We did this experiment with a few student groups. These are some of their conclusions.
One person is very different from the other. That someone belongs to a target group does not say everything about his communication and behavior.
You can be alert to a patient who belongs to a specific target group, but you have to look out for your own prejudices. It is important to be open to the patient as a person.
You do not always know if someone belongs to a specific target group. With some people it is immediately clear, for example with children, very old elderly people, people with severe intellectual disabilities or people who do not speak the English language. But someone with an addiction problem or a psychiatric disorder does not always recognize you immediately. And if someone is demented or has trouble with reading and writing, you do not see at a glance.
Whether or not you know whether someone belongs to a specific target group, you will always observe how the contact is ongoing and adjust your care and communication accordingly.