Healthcare Language Barrier For Afghani Refugees Essay Example


The healthcare system is one of the essential aspects for the functioning of the country, which, among other things, demonstrates the level of economic development. It is due to the fact that the healthcare sector directly or indirectly affects all other spheres of the life of the state. Primarily, it is explained by the impact on the level of health and well-being of the population, and hence the labor force, which forms the resources for the existence of industry and other important aspects. However, there are many challenges and problems associated with the effectiveness of the healthcare system. Among these, the barriers to the provision of healthcare services for refugees, immigrants, and tourists stand out in particular.

Primarily, these factors are formulated by the linguistic barrier, thus, the lack of a system for interpreting all the necessary information for foreigners. Therefore, the proposed study will analyze whether there are any policies, laws, or regulations regarding the language barrier at medical appointments. Moreover, the paper will consider the consequences to which this problem leads and potentially can lead. Further, options will be proposed to improve the situation and optimize the work of this sector based on the existing variants for solving the problem. To do this, a cross-sectional study will be used to indicate the extent of the problem in the selected target population. The target population includes refugees from Afghanistan, and the problem is the difficulty in obtaining adequate medical services. Besides, among the additional covariants to consider will be health insurance status, income, and age.

Problem Statement

The foundation of the problem lies in the lack of adequate infrastructure in the places where medical services are provided to interpret information for foreigners. First of all, it implies the lack of systems for translating information into the language of the client’s country (Gigger & Haddad, 2020). This paper considers targeting populations from Afghanistan, that is, languages ​​such as Pashto, Dari, Uzbek, Balochi, and Turkmen. Populations in the US who are native speakers of these languages ​​face a barrier to accessing adequate healthcare services. One does not have the opportunity to navigate among the large amount of information in English related to healthcare procedures (Koehn, 2018). This information includes instructions, banners, electronic information, stands, procedures, treatment, prevention, and other important factors.

Communication is the key method under which healthcare services may be provided and through which one can talk about a problem. Intercourse allows doctors not only to get information about the problem but also to provide the necessary verbal instructions to clients (Hauck & Brown, 2021). However, the language barrier makes the communication process difficult at best, and in some cases, the exchange of information between doctor and client becomes impossible (Martinez & Train, 2018). In addition, with the help of communication, the doctor instructs the patient about the features of carrying out certain procedures and about safety. Thus, the language barrier is a major problem that can lead to serious consequences.

The language barrier articulates the foundation of the problem, however, there is also a background issue related to the barrier to health care for Afghan refugees. It involves the cultural aspect, namely, the traditions and rules inherent in people from other countries. The issue lies in the differences in treatments, procedures, medications, communication methods, and mentalities (Inungu & Minelli, 2021). When two different cultures collide, there can be difficulties in understanding, however, rapport is a crucial aspect in the field of healthcare. For example, some rules of life common among Afghan immigrants may conflict with the treatment, communication, or procedures common in the United States (Rosano, 2018). In addition, it is necessary to take into account the religious aspect, which affects the possibility of using certain drugs.


As already indicated, the problem of the language barrier in healthcare is urgent due to severe consequences for the patient. In addition, nowadays, there is a need to develop proposals for possible methods for solving this problem. It formulates the innovation of this work, its relevance, and the possibility of using it as a foundation for a further solution to the problem of the language barrier in healthcare. For this, it is necessary to analyze the existing laws and regulations related to the issue. The central thesis connected with this problem is the fact that, according to Title 3 of the Disabilities Act, the doctor is obliged to provide an interpreter for the patient (, 2022). In other words, if the patient cannot adequately understand and accept the doctor’s instructions due to the language barrier, the institution is required to provide the solution.

Further, the innovation of this work lies in the relevance of the proposed options for solving the problem. These variants can be used as a model for resolving the issue or as a foundation for developing further strategies. Thus, the first solution will be to create a permanent position for the translator in the institutions of the provision of medical services. As a rule, in certain regions, the most typical representatives of foreign cultures are refugees from certain countries. That is, it is necessary to conduct a study to identify the most common languages ​​in hospitals. Further, depending on the results, hire two or three translators who will be able to provide interpretation services where necessary quickly.

Alternatives to this solution could be formulated by the creation of a special team of translators or the optimization of the process of providing medical services in the country. The first option includes the formation of groups of translators who will operate throughout the city. That is, if the services of an interpreter are needed, the medical institution applies to the group, and a translator of the required languages ​​leaves for the facility.

Another alternative, namely the optimization of the processes of providing medical services in the country, is large-scale and will require large financial investments. It includes adding technology to all offices and reception areas that will provide instant consecutive translation for the client and the doctor through headphones. One needs to select the required languages ​​on the control panel, and the system will translate the information. Such features are already offered by some technology organizations, however, installing them throughout the country’s hospitals will require a significant investment. In addition, similar gadgets for text translation will be needed. However, such a large-scale reformatting would eliminate the need for all other actions and solve the problem.

Research Questions and Aims

Primarily, the objectives of the work are to identify research questions for effectively structuring the study of the issue. Moreover, the subsequent goals of the paper are to determine answers to the research questions identified. Thus, it is necessary to develop a solution and identify answers to the following questions, which are related to the general topic of the paper and the designated problem:

  • How does the language barrier for the Afghanistan refugee communities influence the healthcare system as a whole?
  • Which impact does the language barrier exert on the Afghanistan refugees and immigrants?
  • How can the healthcare issue of the language barrier be settled?
  • What would be the long-term consequences if the problem wouldwould not resolved?

Theory or Conceptual Model

For effective visualization of the problem, the most appropriate theory that formulates a conceptual model is the Health Belief concept. It includes highlighting the significant aspects of the issue and identifying the relationships between them (Taylor et al., 2020). This approach will help one to rationally assess the theoretical background of the chosen problem and determine ways to influence the connections. Moreover, this model is more efficient and comfortable for visual perception, which contributes to the effective development of solution methods. In addition, the Health Belief Model indicates the use of relevant sources, which is vital in terms of scientific work.

Therefore, this model includes several essential aspects related to the problem. First, it identifies the demographic and socioeconomic factors of the target population. Further, the model includes susceptibility, severity, benefits, and barriers related to target populations and the issue. All this articulates cues to action, which, along with the above factors, determines the procedures necessary to produce (Sharma, 2021). In other words, the Health Belief model defines not only the components of the problem and the links between them but also forms the necessary procedures.

Table 1: the Health Belief Model considering the chosen topic

the Health Belief Model considering the chosen topic

Significance of the Study

The significance of this study includes several aspects that formulate the relevance, effectiveness, and importance of the procedures proposed in work. It is worth noting that any proposed methods are valuable as they can become the basis for solving the problem. In turn, it is connected with the fact that the healthcare sector is one of the most important in the life of the country (Jang, 2018). Moreover, the healthcare sector affects other areas of the state, which articulates the urgency of the study not only for healthcare. The effectiveness of the proposed procedures lies in their simple implementation and efficiency for solving the problem, given the Health Belief Model, the links of which lead to the implementation of the solution.

However, one of the proposed procedures, namely the large-scale optimization of hospitals across the country, is not simple. At the same time, its effectiveness is higher than the others’ since it completely eliminates the problem of the language barrier. Finally, the importance of the study is articulated by the part of the Health Belief Model, namely the cue for action. It includes the dissatisfaction of some segments of the population with the health care system. Potentially, it can significantly worsen the sentiment of the people as no efforts are made to solve the problem, thus, it frames the importance and necessity of this study as well.

References (2022).

Giger, J. N., & Haddad, L. (2020). Transcultural nursing – E-book: Assessment and intervention. (8th ed.). Elsevier Health Sciences.

Hauck, F. R., & Brown, C. (2021). Immigrant health, an issue of primary care: Clinics in office practice. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Inungu, J. N., & Minelli, M. J. (2021). Foundations of rural public health in America. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Jang, S. H. (2018). Medical transnationalism: Korean immigrants’ medical tourism to South Korea. Rowman & Littlefield.

Koehn, P. H. (2018). Transnational mobility and global health: Traversing borders and boundaries. Routledge.

Martinez, G. A., & Train, R. W. (2019). Tension and contention in language education for Latins in the United States: Experience and ethics in teaching and learning. Routledge.

Rosano, A. (2018). Access to primary care and preventative health services of migrants. Springer.

Sharma, M. (2021). Theoretical foundations of health education and health promotion. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Taylor, S. E., Singer, J. E., & Baum, A. (2020). Handbook of psychology and health: social psychological aspects of health. Routledge.

“The Churching Of America, 1776-2005” By Roger Finke And Rodney Stark

“The churching of America, 1776-2005: winners and losers in our religious economy” is a provocative book by Roger Finke and Rodney Stark that has profoundly shifted how American religious practices are viewed. The authors provide a comprehensive overview of changes, trends, and developments within American religious practices, thereby challenging previous knowledge on the subject. They elaborate on how contemporary religious organizations, with the introduction of freedom of religion, started to operate by to the laws of a free market economy and rational choice theory. Furthermore, they explain how the religious economy resulted in a decline of mainline denominations and a rise of newly formed, pluralistic religious organizations. The former is therefore referred to as the “loser,” and the latter is the “winner” in the book. One crucial thing becomes clear about American religious traditions: despite the secularization, humans still need organizations that would fit their needs, and upstart sects are right there to compete for their souls.

Authors claim that unconventional religious institutions, or as authors call them, upstart sects operate according to the laws of a free market: they compete with each other for members and regulate their doctrines according to demands of their potential recruits. This willingness to adapt to the needs of the market and client-oriented approach is one of significant elements that make upstart churches more desirable for Americans, thereby making them “winners.” Correspondingly, conventional denominations’ refusal to do so and their rigorous and distant doctrines brought about their relentless downfall (Finke & Stark, 2005). For this reason, mainline religious entities are “losers” in the new realm of religious economy.

Furthermore, the introduction of freedom of religion allowed minority groups to form new religious organizations that would be more suitable for their unique cultural backgrounds and would serve as a safe space. A great example of this phenomenon would be the development and popularization of African American churches and religious communions of various ethnic minority groups. Hence, mainstream denominations’ reluctance to adopt the principles of a free market economy in the age of freedom of religion and pluralistic society resulted in their decline.

The book sheds light on recent developments in American religious traditions. For example, it was a common assumption that only denominations had a monopoly of religious authority and power. The book, however, revealed that more and more Americans prefer newly formed, customized types of religious congregations that follow the laws of supply and demand and use a client-oriented approach to attract members. Such upstart sects bring more satisfaction to their members due to their customized approach. Thus, it is evident that American people still want to consume religious products, but not the ones sold by mainstream denominations.

Additionally, American people reveal their willingness to join a religious entity if it offers high-quality religious goods, the criteria for which varies from person to person. Finke and Stark described the criteria in the following way: “Humans want their religion to be sufficiently potent, vivid, and compelling so that it can offer them rewards of great magnitude. People seek a religion that is capable of miracles and imparts order and sanity to the human condition. The religious organizations that maximize these aspects of religion, however, also demand the highest price in terms of what the individual must do to qualify for these rewards.” (Finke & Stark, 2005, p.282). As the last sentence claims, church members must pay the price or a sacrifice to get religious products. However, according to rational choice theory, people want to minimize costs. This is another case displaying that upstart sects are willing to cut the costs, whereas mainline firms are reluctant, making the former more profitable.

Finke and Stark turned common knowledge of American religious practices into common misconceptions. Contrary to common assumptions, American people are not becoming less religious; they are instead switching to newly emerged religious groups. The market economy principles lay the basis for such tendencies and determine religious marketplace. As it is unconventional to think about religion in terms of an economic system, this book pushes its readers to re-assess the pre-conceived ideas about American Religious Traditions.


Finke, R., & Stark, R. (2005). The churching of America, 1776-2005): winners and losers in our religious economy. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.

Aspects Of Multicultural Counseling


In his text Introduction to Point/Counterpoint, the author talks about multicultural counseling. He is convinced that the problem of communication between different cultures appeared primarily due to the demographic growth in the United States (Brown, 1990). He notes that this issue is the most relevant for American society today, followed by two counseling researchers’ narration. In the article A Not So Provincial View of Multicultural Counseling, Locke discusses why diversity is necessary for the culture and how it is applied in practice. Considering the issue in the context of counseling as an interaction between a client and a consultant, the author establishes that people face cultural and racial barriers (Locke, 1990). However, the misconception is that these obstacles hinder communication or hurt society. Rather, on the contrary, multiculturalism forces individuals to see the uniqueness and influence of culture in living examples, which leads to the development of intelligence and worldview.


The article Tacking a Universal Approach to Multicultural Counseling discusses the importance of intercultural dialogue in the development and formation of society. Fukuyama emphasizes that intercultural counseling is a recent phenomenon but occurs simultaneously with political and social movements. In addition, the author separately analyzes ethics and its norms, which should oblige citizens to follow the humane principles of equality even in specific areas of life (Fukuyama, 1990). It is important to note that the author’s approach is more progressive than the previous, conservative one.

In the article Has the Color of the Rat Rally Changed? the author reviews the emergence of blacks in science and psychology. Kirk criticizes the fact that in the past, white people tested black people to prove and reinforce the prejudice against racial differences. In other words, the science of eugenics and psychology tried to prove the adequacy and validity of the slave position of blacks (Kirk, 1978). Gradually, the author comes to see how effectively African Americans proved the opposite through the appearance of black scientists, as well as awards for their achievements in psychology.


In their article, The American Psychological Association’s Response to Brown v. Board of Education: The Case of Kenneth B. Clark, a group of researchers turns to history to determine what set a precedent for the fight against segregation in the court. They analyze the case that underpinned school segregation in 17 states (Benjamin et al., 2002). The authors note that the case is fundamental because it was the first in American history. Moreover, it has special significance for psychology as it marked the first time that psychological research was mentioned in a Supreme Court decision.


Benjamin, L. T., Crouse, E. M., Texas A&M, Dept of Psychology. (2002). The American Psychological Association’s response to Brown v. Board of Education: The case of Kenneth B. Clark. American Psychologist, 57(1), 38 –50.

Brown, D. (Ed.). (1990). Introduction to point/counterpoint. Counselor Education and Supervision, 30(1), 5.

Fukuyama, M. A. (1990). Taking a universal approach to multicultural counseling. Counselor Education and Supervision, 30(1), 6 –17.

Kirk, A. R. (1978). Has the color of the rat really changed? Contemporary Psychology, 23(7), 500 –501.

Locke, D. C. (1990). A not so provincial view of multicultural counseling. Counselor Education and Supervision, 30(1), 18 –25.