Breaking down language barriers in clinical practice Academic Article uri icon


  • Communication is an essential component of skilled nursing-practice. As 20 per cent of Australians are born overseas and come from a non-English speaking background (NESB), effective communication becomes a challenge for nurses who do not share the same language. Nursing use of an interpreter service is an essential component of practice in a multicultural community. This was one of the findings of a two-year participatory action research study which explored the practice of nurses caring for non-English speaking families. The intention of this paper is to explore this crucial aspect of the findings; nursing use of interpreters and the strategies instigated by the nurses to work more effectively with them.

publication date

  • March 1997