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Heritage Assessment

Posted by juliettepatison , 15 July 2020 · 342 views

Health assessment is a crucial aspect of the healthy lives of human beings. Different cultures have varying beliefs and views about the nature of health and its effects. These beliefs range from the causes of illnesses to the treatment methods of a particular condition. They also involve various professionals involved in the processes of health management. In addition, the extent to which patients receive health education has significant cultural relevance to them. Most cultural groups in the United States believe that diseases result from the natural scientific phenomena and thus advocate for medical treatments that combat causative organisms. Cultural issues play a significant role in patient compliance with health matters among African Americans, Indians, and Native Americans.
There are differences in health traditions among the three aforementioned cultures. First and foremost, many African Americans view receiving health care as an experience which is demeaning, degrading, or humiliating. In this light, many blacks resent health services because of the lengthy queues, feelings of racial discrimination, or even racism. Besides, a significant number of blacks resent health clinics due to the perceived loss of identity, alienation and a sense of powerlessness when it comes to the health system. These feelings make them develop mistrust towards health institutions and care providers who are mostly represented by white Americans. A similar case is witnessed among Indian Americans, as they have undergone years of abuse, including broken treaties and forcible relocations.
Secondly, the Indian religion and spirituality play an influential role in the adults of this heritage. They believe that illness and death are parts of natural life. They also believe that diseases are caused by natural causes, improper eating habits, and exposure to the wind or cold air. Some extremists argue that illnesses and deaths happen due to the will of God or the lack of spiritual balance. In this light, most Indians delay seeking medication preferring giving God a chance to heal them or seeking self-treatment. They also seek health care from folk healers and family members. On the other hand, African Americans see illnesses as imbalances between external and internal forces and hence seek treatment from fork tellers. These choices significantly influence the decisions about how health care attention should be distributed. In this respect, many representatives of minorities seek herbal remedies and dieting as part of their healthcare plans. Only when these methods fail, they demonstrate the tendency to try traditional medicine to find a cure for their illnesses. On the other hand, the Native American culture highly emphasizes the need to seek medication from health institutions when one has an illness. Therefore, they continually visit hospitals or medical organizations and seek medication.
Lastly, most Indians equate pill size with potency where they argue that a large tablet is too big to be prescribed as a dose. On the other hand, many African Americans believe that western medicine is more invasive compared to that in other places. In this light, some people fail to take full dosages or complete the entire courses of medication. On the other hand, the Native Americans view injections as a more efficient method compared to oral intake of pills. As a result, Native Americans should be administered medications in small portions, as the failure of care provider to consider cultural aspects may make Native Americans discontinue treatment prematurely.
There is a great importance of applying heritage assessment to evaluate the needs of families. First and foremost, a critical step in building cultural competency is interviewing families and patients. By so doing, it becomes possible to determine the things that the patients value and respect in their lives. Secondly, this approach gives patients a platform to express their beliefs, rituals, and values. Therefore, healthcare providers are able to show respect towards patients by showing regard to their beliefs without hindering care. Thirdly, interviews allow to discover the diversity of the patient’s culture thus allowing nurses to become aware of their individual cultural biases. They also help nurses to focus on the cultural values and beliefs of their patients. Fourthly, the heritage assessment provides the care provider with a clear background of the patient, and knowing it significantly helps to improve the overall quality of care.
More specifically, the heritage assessment tool allows to discover the extent to which an individual’s culture is reflected in his/her way of life. This tool is reliable and it can be used to assess, protect, and restore an individual’s cultural beliefs. The role of heritage varies among people and cultures, and it consists of determining one’s religious, ethnic, and cultural peculiarities. It helps identify traditional health records that helps with health protection, maintenance, and restoration.
African American Culture
The interviewed family was that of Joseph Brown from America. In the African American culture, religious similarity can be witnessed, as its many representatives are Catholic who heavily rely on praying, Bible reading, and celebrating religious holidays. Most blacks are not as close to their extended family members as they are to their immediate family members. As noted earlier, they do not seek medical care unless the situation is dangerous. Brown’s family often cooks ethnic food thus increasing the chances of improving immunity against diseases. Due to their economic condition, they are not able to afford meat. However, African Americans prepare traditional meals with few portions of meat.
Indian Culture
The family interviewed was the Gujar Vudus who have been residing in America for approximately 36 years. Hinduism is the dominant religion among Indian Americans, and they also rely on praying, fasting, and observing religious holidays. Most Indians do not have close relationships with distant family members, as opposed to the nuclear members. This happens despite the fact that extended family members live in close proximities. Most Indians do not prepare ethnic foods at their homes. Normally, Gujazs do not seek medication, because, just like other Indians, they believe that illnesses are a natural part of life. Their prayers significantly strengthen their faith and beliefs in the healing of the sick. Additionally, they seek medication from traditional advisers, and in some cases they take traditional herbs as medicine.
Native American Culture
John Robert’s family members have been interviewed, as they are Native Americans. They often maintain contacts with both the extended and nuclear family members. Most of them are Protestants and consider the Baptist Church as the dominant church. They are also very religious as most of them visit respective institutions at least once every week and during special holidays. Roberts family frequently prays, fasts, reads the Bible, and observes religious holidays. However, they do not prepare ethnic food, even though they participate in ethnic activities. Most of them, when sick, seek health care services from various providers. However, they also believe in God as a healer of different illnesses.
In conclusion, the three analyzed cultures believe in God as seen from their praying and going to places of worship. To them, health maintenance is a systematic plan to prevent illness, optimize body functions, and promote good health. In nursing and health care of these cultures, it is crucial to avoid the progression of diseases. Health restoration means reinstating an individual’s functioning of health to enable them to carry out daily activities. Additionally, it addresses how individuals approach and treat illnesses once they are diagnosed. On the other hand, health protection deals with how one maintains and protects his/her health on the daily basis. Nurses relate to these diverse cultures and hence have to act as educators, advocates, and promoters of health. The use of the heritage assessment tool provides the data required for nurses to understand diverse backgrounds. Heritage assessment tool helps experts approach health maintenance, restoration, and promotion differently depending on the heritage of patient.
About the author: Juliette Patioson is a bachelor in English philology and sociology at California University. She is currently working as one of the best writers at the technology research topics She also studies feminine psychology.

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