Barriers to Interprofessional Communication in Healthcare
Organizations that are culturally and ethnically diverse can experience these barriers since cultural differences often exacerbate problems in communications (O’Daniel & Rosenstein, 2008). For instance, in certain cultures, individuals desist from challenging or being assertive regarding some opinions. Thus, this can present difficulties for other nurses from unrelated cultures to speak up in case they witness something wrong. Nurses can express their concerns in an indirect manner in case they come from such cultures (O’Daniel & Rosenstein, 2008). In addition, cultural differences is a hindrance to nonverbal communication. For instance, some cultures attribute specific meaning to certain facial expressions, eye contact, nods of the head, tone of the voice and touch.
Issues regarding gender differences in values, communication styles, and expectations are often widespread in every workplace. In the healthcare industry in which a large number of physicians are males and females form a big percentage of nurses, gender differences often accentuate communication problems (Hall, 2005). Hierarchy difference is another key barrier to communication. In a healthcare setting where differences in hierarchy exist, individuals who are on the lower end often find it uncomfortable to speak up their concerns or problems. Intimidating behavior sometimes by high-rank individuals can hamper communication.