National Hospital of Iceland Breaks Language Barriers Skip to content

National Hospital of Iceland Breaks Language Barriers

The National Hospital of Iceland (LSH) has begun using a 38-page picture book to ease communication between staff and patients where language and/or physical condition hinders patients from expressing their wishes.

“It is thought of as a tool for reaching those who have difficulties expressing themselves or do not understand what we tell them,” teaching and educational nurse at LSH Inga Teitsdóttir told Morgunbladid.

“They may be patients on respirators, people who suffer from nervous diseases that cause aphasia […], or belong to the growing group of patients of foreign origin who don’t speak Icelandic or any language that we speak,” Teitsdóttir said.

Last year 1,380 foreign citizens from 90 different countries were treated at LSH.

The picture book contains drawings and photographs of different moods, foot items and medicine as well as a glossary of practical terms in 16 different languages. The book was tested last fall and patients were very satisfied with it.

Teitsdóttir said the book is revolutionary for communication at the hospital.

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