Healthcare provision is unique to every individual and the focus being onthe patient, it is a duty of the nurses to respect the choices thatpatients make with regards to their culture and beliefs. Heritagerefers to personal traits, possession, beliefs or anything that onecarries on from birth as tradition (Kelly, 2014). Many peoplestrongly identify with their backgrounds and customs despite modernday coexistence and this calls for health care providers to beproficient in the diversity of culture. isnecessary, in the sense that as a nurse evaluates the needs of thepatient, he or she can know how to handle the patients according totheir needs, keeping in mind their health traditions and any ritualsfor safe and competent care. By carrying out an assessment on thepatient’s heritage, nurses obtain a larger scope of the backgroundof the patient and in the process, the quality of patient outcomeimproves because of the high-quality care provided (Edelmand& Mandle, 2010).The heritage assessment below covers three different families fromvarious cultures who were interviewed about different culturalaspects and beliefs. The three families were of African American,Vietnamese (Asian), and Jamaican culture.
Thefirst interview was a Vietnamese single mother of two. Her mother isan immigrant to the United States from Vietnam, Southeastern Asia,whereas her father was born in Texas. The family has strong networkswith everyone including the extended family at large. Their loyaltyto family is striking and according to her, she cannot trade suchdevotion for anything. Ms. Bian is a Christian since he was broughtup in a staunch Roman Catholic family. She informs me of otherreligious practices in Vietnam such as Buddhism and Taoism. Due tothe importance the family unit bears for a Vietnamese, in cases ofchronic terminal illnesses, the family should be consulted fordecision making and such information is kept as a family secret. Ms.Bian hardly trusts western medicine, but her Catholic nature makesher less uptight compared to the Buddhists. As a woman, she admits tothe hesitation she goes through while being attended to by a maledoctor since respect and gender chirality is a virtue she learnedfrom her mother growing up.
Vietnameseculture considers suffering as a certain predetermined state. Sheensures health protection by eating quality food and maintaining ahigh level of hygiene. Unlike most of her Vietnamese counterparts whoconsume red meat and a lot of fat, she prefers vegetables and fish.Time after time she goes to screen for illnesses such as cancer(culturally believed to be caused by bad karma) and diabetes, being aproblem that exists in her family. Yoga is her favorite relaxationexercise as she believes it frees the mind and promotes healthyexistence. By this, Ms. Bian ensures health maintenance. For healthrestoration, she visits the hospital every time she feels unwell andbeing an American by birth she does not allow herself to be bound byher culture.
Thesecond family I interviewed was Mr. and Mrs. Edwards who are nativelyfrom America. African Americans have maintained their belief in Godand their dependence on prayer as their mode of worship. Thisparticular family worshiped at the Baptist church and are greatwitnesses of Christ. It is notable that most people from this culturedon’t relate closely with distant members of the family, but theyvalue the bond of the nuclear family. Health deterioration is not abig issue unless it reaches a point where they cannot handle it ontheir own that’s when they seek medical attention for healthrestoration. Both Mr. and Mrs. Edwards agree that they don’t visitthe hospital unless it’s necessary. However, they have their healthinsured annually and they receive the flu vaccine. They alsoconsistently go for checkups as a means of health maintenance. TheEdwards family believes in fitness as a way of propagating healthprotection. They take healthy meals and exercise regularly, evidentfrom their appearance. They have descendants from Africa, and Mrs.Edwards admits that their recipes are handed down from one generationto the other, so they prepare traditional foods as well.
Theinterviewed family, the Baileys, has lived in Texas for about twoyears and are Linstead Jamaica natives. Christianity is the mostwidespread religion in Jamaica and throughout the country, youencounter churches such as the Baptist Church, Anglican Church, andChurch of God. Music and an excellent cuisine identify mostJamaicans. The larger Christian culture produced the Rastafarianmovement whose origin is traced back to the influence of Africanbeliefs. Root tubers such as potatoes, yams, and ackee are Jamaicans’favorite foods. Bush medicine for all diseases is a culture that isstill rooted among Jamaicans.
Thefamily unit is imperative to Jamaicans though typically immediatefamily ties matter most. A family council is valued when one is facedwith sickness. Regarding religion, Bailey’s family worship everySunday, and they have an unyielding belief in the power of prayer.They are very conscious about health, so regular exercise and healthyeating habits are their way of practicing health protection. Theyhave taught their kids not to indulge in fast foods, and the patternis working out well for the entire family. The family seeksmedication from hospitals to restore health when their commontherapies fail to work. For health maintenance, vaccination hasalways worked for them.
Healthpromotion is the process of managing one’s health by preventingillness and promoting good health. In health maintenance, proceduresof disease prevention, maintenance of maximum function and promotionof health are executed (Spector,2014).Health restoration is the process by which an individual’s healthis restored to a state that enables independent execution of day today activities. The three cultures differ in modes of approaching theaspects of health, including health protection, under culture andheritage. All the three have a common belief in a superior powerwhich makes prayer and worship part and parcel of their daily lives.Nurses encounter such diversity every day which makes the knowledgeof culture and heritage core for a practicing nurse. They are thehealth promoters, advocates, as well as educators on matters to dowith health (Edelmand& Mandle, 2010).The provided culture assessment tool is to provide nurses with theinformation required to comprehend a patient’s requirements. Ascare providers, nurses have to show patients that they care aboutthem and their background by basing their care on their patients’culture.
Kelly,C. (2014). Heritageassessment in nursing.Munich: GRIN Verlag GmbH.
Edelman,& Mandle, E. (2010). Health promotion throughout the lifespan.(8th ed.). Boston. November 2, 2014
Spector,R.E. (2009) Cultural Care: Guide to heritage assessment and healthtraditions (5th ed) Pearson Education/Ph. College. November 1st,2014.