Discussion Question (1) -Public Health Nurse-PHN-600- Topic 4 DQ 1

Discussion Question (1) -Public Health Nurse-PHN-600- Topic 4 DQ 1

PHN 600 -Discussion Question- Topic 4 DQ 1


Imagine speaking with a person whose first language is not English about experiences with health care professionals who do not speak his or her language. Identify social determinants for this person and interventions for meeting their needs.






PHN 600 -Discussion Question- Topic 4 DQ 1

The social determinants of health for a nonnative English speaker include language and literacy levels. According to Raynor (2016), nonnative English speaker groups in the US are at a higher risk of limited English language skills and low literacy levels. Most of such groups, such as the individual in a case study, do not speak in English at home, have lower levels of education, or are immigrants.  Numerous studies have shown that nearly a third of the people who immigrated to the US are not fluent in English (Raynor, 2016). Having a limited proficiency in English in the United States can therefore be a significant barrier to understanding health information and accessing health care services. According to Raynor (2016), for instance, compared to older individuals who are proficient in English elderly individuals with limited English proficiency are more likely to report lower self-rated health, have no usual source of care, and report feeling sad at most times.

Literacy is also interconnected with health. Therefore, limited literacy is a significant barrier to proper medication use, health knowledge, access, and utilization of preventative services (Schillinger, 2020). Individuals who have limited literacy will have challenges following health practitioners’ instructions pertaining to health information and communicating with healthcare providers. This can significantly affect their health negatively. Non-English speakers, such as in a case study, can therefore be classified as illiterate in the United States because most of the health communication in US Healthcare facilities is conducted in English (Schillinger, 2020).

The ideal intervention to meet the healthcare needs of nonnative English speakers would be to have interpreters who use their native language (Schillinger, 2020). For instance, healthcare practitioners who utilize English can have Hispanic interpreters to improve communication with Hispanic patients and increase the chances of positive outcomes.



Raynor, E. M. (2016). Factors Affecting Care in Non-English-Speaking Patients and Families. Clinical Pediatrics, 55(2), 145–149. https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922815586052.

Schillinger D. (2020). The Intersections Between Social Determinants of Health, Health

Literacy, and Health Disparities. Studies in health technology and informatics269, 22–41. https://doi.org/10.3233/SHTI200020.