Southwest Georgia doctors highlight health literacy - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Doctors highlight health literacy

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Dr. Grant explains why people need to ask questions during doctor visits Dr. Grant explains why people need to ask questions during doctor visits
Visual language material given to patients who aren't native English speakers Visual language material given to patients who aren't native English speakers
Southwest Georgia Health District  building Southwest Georgia Health District building
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Pharmacy technicians aren't the only ones who have to count pills, it's a job for anyone taking medication on a daily basis that sometimes can be confusing.

Especially when your doctor tells you out of a bottle of 30 pills, take one tablet three times a day for 10 days, but you think to make your symptoms go away faster you take all three in one sitting... not a good idea.

"That could cause some dangerous levels, some swings in the levels that may end up resulting in hospitalization," Southwest Georgia Health District Director Dr. Grant said.

That's why doctors stress the importance of health literacy, the ability to obtain, process and apply health information, that includes interpreting graphs, understanding prescriptions and doctor requests. Dr. Grant says nearly 30% of those living in Southwest Georgia did not graduate from high school, making them more likely to lack health literacy.

Grant continues, "A lot of times people are embarrassed when they don't understand. Your time with the doctor is your time with the doctor and you want to utilize that time as effectively as you can."

It's a way to avoid being re-admitted, which can cost the patient more money, try four times more than those with adequate skills. Dr. Grant says much of it does fall on the doctor but patients need to take part as well.

"Its being an active participate in their care and you can't do that if you don't understand," Dr. Grant shares.

Studies show that those who do take an active role are more likely heal faster.

 

 

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