Heritage Assessment Essay

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Heritage Assessment Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1603

  • Pages: 6

Heritage Assessment

The heritage assessment is developed to assist the healthcare provider cultivate a therapeutic relationship and approach in care. The use of this assessment tool provides an informative approach of care for the multiple cultural backgrounds that a provider may come into contact with. Clark, 2002 states, “A succinct knowledge of trans-cultural or multicultural setting within the healthcare realms is helpful in bolstering efforts towards attaining the primary care role of nursing. Thus, when working in the increasingly multicultural settings, nurses ought to refocus on availing culturally competent care, fully customized in suiting the target patient’s own traditions, cultural values, lifestyle, practices, and beliefs.”

This paper is written to examine the health maintenance, restoration and protection decisions between three culturally different families (African American, Asian and Hispanic) and each of their unique values and beliefs associated with their particular ethnic group. Interestingly the result analysis will show that all though three different families presenting with three different origins of origination, traditions, values and beliefs regarding health and wellness as well as beliefs of disease processes share a common core faith and value system towards health maintenance, restoration and the practice of their Christian beliefs. By utilizing the Heritage Assessment Tool that is designed with twenty nine questions that seeks answers to details about the client’s familial relations, cultural background, social supports and religious practices and beliefs. Also, the assessment assists the nurses in the planning, and implementation of customized care, by offering intervention measures that are not only suitable on cultural fronts of the client, but also comfortable to administer (Clark, 2002).

A positive patient-nurse relationship should be guided by the ideals of mutual respect and understanding of the client’s health beliefs, cultural values and religious aspects of practice. The­­­­­­­ Heritage Assessment Tool details the actual parameters that nurses would use in examining the impacts that cultural settings would have on the patient, by assessing beliefs and dogmas on diseases and wellness. The cultural ties have direct implications on health care administration, including acceptable health promotional messages, preventive care, curative care, and old-age care services (Clark, 2002). Understanding the patient’s beliefs and feelings of health and wellness can assist the nurse providing care the opportunity to effectively communicate and embrace modes of care. The Health Assessment Tool allows nurses to obtain perfect understanding of the client’s personal views towards health as well as how their value systems or practices affect the perception of nursing care. (Clark, 2002)

By interviewing three ethnicities: Asian, African American and Hispanic cultures an attempt is made to document the impacts of the many different values within the culture that may be associated with healthcare and clinical procedures. From the Asian culture the first family interviewed was a Filipino family. The heritage of the Filipino family is rich in traditions and beliefs as well as strong spiritual philosophies. The family unit among Filipinos remains an integral part of their life. In fact, Filipino families find it irresistible to have regular get-togethers and re-unions, as evidenced by their usual desire to hold ‘handaans’ where they literally invite all relatives for a family gathering. (Bateman, Abesamis-Mendoza, & Ho-Asjoe, 2009) It is not uncommon for “handaans” to be held once weekly with members of the family reaching out to their relatives.

Living conditions for the Filipino families include multiple family members living under one roof. Priority and reverence of the elderly family members living in the home are apparent by watching as to how the younger members of the family dote on and care for their elders. As elderly members of the family progress in age and may be in need of advanced care it is not uncommon for the family members to care for their elder at home versus being confined to a nursing home as this is considered disrespectful and forbidden. The family interviewed claims a Christian based faith and attends regular services of the Catholic doctrine.

Even more, in regards to health decisions within Filipino families are completed together with everyone ensuring the wellbeing of the entire family. This being said, some illnesses and mental health issues are seen as an exception to the rule due to the families strong religious beliefs and customary values associated with mental illness and negative spirits that attack one’s body after some way wrong doing the Gods. (Bateman et al., 2009) If a member of the family unit becomes ill the relatives offer emotional and physical support to assist with health restoration. Let’s take for example, by utilizing traditional Asian treatments such as herbal medicine, acupuncture and acupressure Filipino families engage in restorative treatments. Often time’s acupressure will be utilized to relieve pain, nausea and depression and by utilizing small needles to specific pinpoint locations of the body acupuncture may be used to treat colds, itching and acute conditions. Herbal medicine assists with health restoration, maintenance and the populace that may be vulnerable. . At home the family enjoys their Asian delicacies; with emphasis on healthy diet to enhance body immunity. The health traditions are maintained across generations through apprenticeship, rituals/cultural events, and mentorships (Bateman et al., 2009).

The second family was of the African American decent that was interviewed. Cultural systems of African Americans have been hindered after arriving to the U.S. African American cultural values and beliefs are deeply rooted in Africa, mainly Sub-Saharan African as well as Shelean cultures (Quaye, 2005). Unlike Filipino families, African American family units tend to be more loosely connected and focus more on the annual reunions and get-togethers. It is not uncommon for family members to see each other once a year or for special occasions. As family concerns and issues become apparent contact may be made via a telephone call at which time family members may then provide advice or support. The family interviewed considered themselves to be Baptist and go to church on special occasions stating that they often congregate with others of the same faith outside of the church setting. In regards to healthcare the family sees illness and other health issues as “getting aged” or just growing older. The matriarch of the family is willing to share that they have a strong familial incident of hypertension, cardiac disease and other illnesses that are culturally common within their heritage.

Even though the family does not freely talk about illness directly to the affected member of the family it is not uncommon that they discuss it among themselves. Though African American uses mainstream treatment means and therapeutic approaches, health restoration and maintenance is purely based on adherence to a healthy diet. (Quaye, 2005) Life sustainment and prolonged treatment may be sought during times of terminal illness but depending on economical standing may be averted. Medical support systems and preventative care are occasionally sought after within the community setting during health fairs for screenings for illnesses such as prostate and breast cancer during the onset of old age.

The health traditions are retained through kingship and extended social networks where close and extended families pass on treatment traditions and beliefs across generations (Quaye, 2005). The last family interviewed was of Hispanic decent and unlike the Filipino and African American families has very little contact with their relatives as most immediate and extended family members live in Mexico. Although the family can contact each other via phone and social media they rarely visit in person due to crossing the border. The family practices Catholicism and attends mass on a regular basis. Further, the interviewed family, like other Mexican families, views the cause of illness or diseases as jealousy against others or due to resulting imbalance between cold and hot. (West, 2005)

Herbal remedies and treatments are a common Mexican health tradition to fend off the illness and keep the sick family member warm and the use of oil is utilized to ensure the patient is protected from dehydration. It is not uncommon for the family to use traditional cures for heath restoration such as Curanderos or conditional care for illnesses such as diabetes. Home remedies are often passed down from generation to generation. During chronic conditions, health restoration and maintenance may be done through conventional treatment, but only after the mother convinces the father the importance of doing so (West, 2005).

In conclusion, the three immigrant families show distinctive ideas and beliefs of traditional health maintenance and wellness after arriving the U.S but it can be seen that they share a common belief in faith as indicating their value systems towards restoration and feel they are protected by their Christian faith .When planning for wellness and health maintenance as well as restorative care it is important to consider family background, beliefs, values regarding the ailment and develop interventional measures that observes specific traditions as well as cultural and religious values.

References

Bateman, W., Abesamis-Mendoza, N., & Ho-Asjoe, H. (2009). Praeger Handbook of Asian American Health: Taking Notice and Taking Action, Volume 1. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO publishers. Clark, C. C. (2002). Health Promotion in Communities: Holistic and Wellness Approaches. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company. Quaye, R. (2005). African Americans’ Health Care Practices, Perspectives, and Needs. Washington, D.C.: University Press of America. West, J. (2005). Mexican-American Folklore. Armonk, NY: august house

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Heritage assessment Essay

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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 442

  • Pages: 2

Heritage assessment

Kizlik [2014] argues that the purpose of a learning objective is to communicate, and that a well-constructed behavioral learning objective should have little room for doubt about what is intended. Health professionals in designing educational programs to engage both patients as well as families, should be able to taper the task or objective to the specific patient and their family; for them to be able to explain what you taught them and for them to be able to demonstrate it. On the Euromed Info website, on Developing Learning Objectives. Retrieved from http://www.euromedinfo.eu/developing-learning-objectives.html/ [n.d.] state that “a simple and practical way of developing learning objectives is to start with the words, WHO, DOES WHAT, HOW and WHEN.” For the purpose of this exercise the learning objective will be for the patient and the family to be able to change an ostomy bag in a patient with a newly formed colostomy. It is important to find out from the patient and the family which learning styles work for them, example whether reading of pamphlets, one on one teaching or visual aids. Also the condition or ability of the patient to perform the task, e.g. is the patient strong and well enough to perform the task or are they too weak from being ill. In using the learning objectives cited above,

WHO- will be the patient and family
DOES- list the components needed
WHAT-changing a stoma bag
HOW – by performing task or stating how to
WHEN- by discharge

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations [JCAHO] as cited on the Euromed Info website on Family Structure and Style, retrieved from [http://www.euromedinfo.eu/family-structure-and-style.html/] defines the family as “the person or persons who play a significant role in the individual’s life including persons not legally related to the individual. “How a family functions influences the health of its members as well as how the individual reacts to illness” retrieved from http://www.euromedinfo.eu/family-structure-and-style.html . In the light of this , having the family understand the rationale behind the treatment and steps on how to help the patient change this stoma bag will assist the patient to be more confident in changing their stoma bag and also in dealing and coping with this new health change.

REFERENCES

http://www.adprima.com/objectives.htm
http://www.euromedinfo.eu/developing-learning-objectives.html/ http://www.euromedinfo.eu/family-structure-and-style.htm

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Heritage Assessment Essay

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Heritage Assessment Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1045

  • Pages: 4

Heritage Assessment

In all aspects, the background of any medical practitioner determines the overall attitude, aptitudes and performance of the practitioner. This paper seeks to identify this correlation with due reference to Culture Care Guide to Heritage Assessment by Spector (2009). The guide ardently utilizes the tools inherent in the guide in developing basic nursing principles within the fraternity. Within the guide, the write uses self experience in analyzing the traditions in the nursing profession.

This paper seeks to make a clear comparison between the family of the writer and two other families in relation to their overall approach to health issues. The issues given expended attention are promotion, maintenance and restoration of health. The paper undertakes a dissection of how families adhere to subscribed health practices and traditions. Thereafter, the paper will give a brief overview of the author’s professional nursing heritage. Heritage Assessment Tools According Spector, the response of any patient to medication depends to a reasonable extend on the patient’s heritage, language and background.

Spector (Spector S. , p 9) argues that the health of any individual can expressed in terms of the experiences and the expectation of individuals. Consequently, most of the medical professionals will tend to identify their experiences with their own heritage. Vividly, the understanding of the self assists one to be able to understand the other party. Within the precincts of this assertion (Spector S. , p 34) it’s imperative, according to Spector, that practitioners first understand themselves. There seems to be a tremendous paradigm shift within the American medical fraternity.

This shift has been apparently precipitated by the trends in migration and the immigration patterns. By any feasible standards it appears arguably tenable that the mixing of the cultures has also contributed to the changing trends in Medicare. One of the key and outstanding aspects of the present medical system in the United States of America is that any practitioners have to ardently understand the myriads of the ethno cultures. To be able to understand the varied medical needs of the mixed cultures, two other cultures have to be identified for any feasible heritage assessment.

The comparison is tidal as it does reveal the differences and similarities, if any, in the heritages of people with distinct backgrounds. Consequently, the analysis assists in the understanding of the different approaches to the maintenance of the varied heritage and their socialization prospects (Spector S. , p 16). The assessment also seeks to understand the acculturation process within the American system. In analyzing the heritage of the writer, the writer completed 29 questions that were designed for the Heritage Assessment.

The instructions on the Heritage assessment Tool were very explicit asserting that if the degree of one identifying with their own culture was high, there would be a high number of the positives. The writer (Spector S. p 28) argues that after the family moved to a new place in the united states, despite the different socialization, she was assimilated, developing newer cultural identity. The writer argues that much as her culture and the heritage have determined her health and life values, the time of growth have played a bigger role.

The promotion of health would be supported and promoted through a number of practices and routine activities. If the weather is very cold, anybody is expected to dress in a manner that is appropriate to ensure that the individual does not contract ailment related to cold. In addition, individual are expected to take part in the physical activities such as can keep their bodies physically healthy. Similarly, (Spector S. , p 23) the use of the right foods also assists in the promotion of good health. The food eaten assists in the reducing the likelihood of contracting certain ailments.

The use of these foods is a practice that is developed over time. Clearly, this is where the heritage and the culture of any individual come in. This is indicative of the fact that the health promotion is a result of a multifaceted practice. The medical fitness of any individual as result of a conglomerations of numerous aspects which will play a role in the restoration, the promotion and the subsequent prevention of any ailments. When the first individual was assessed, it emerged that the religious foods were inevitable in the diet of the respondent.

Clearly, if the diet is balanced through the use of the religious foods, the health of the individual will be maintained. This appears common in believers who are staunch. The assessment of the second individual showed that the individual was religious and that for him, physical activities were inevitable. The individual asserted that the father had insisted that every day in the morning he does some drills before going to school. Besides, the individual indicated that his food was not tied to religion. Vividly, unlike the first individual, the accumulation of fats would be unconceivable with such traits.

Perhaps for this family physical activity had been turned into a culture (Spector S. p 12). Consequently, this would promote the health of the individual. Professional heritage The writer has a strong bond towards the profession, not as a result of any family ties but as individual innate desires towards the profession. Having yearned to be a professional in the area, the writer makes all the efforts in ensuring that the profession is practical even in his home. He practices various recommended health tenets.

Subsequently, this not only promotes his personal health, but it also does enhance the transmission of the same practices to both the patients and the neighborhood. Conclusion It can be adduced from the foregoing discussion that the medical wellbeing of any individual is not only dependent on the culture but also on the habits that are implanted in an individual by the environment. The environment will be inclusive of the family, the religious group and the community. The practice of the professional ethics and sobriety will also depend on the environment and the innate aptitudes.

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Heritage Assessment Essay

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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1732

  • Pages: 7

Heritage Assessment

Cultural diversities have facilitated challenges within health care. To educate our patients there must be recognition of traditional heritage practices. The Heritage Assessment Tool has been devised to discover cultural characteristics of individuals and families along with communities. This tool allows one to understand and respect the role of cultural awareness in health and illness. There is a framework for evaluation of physical, mental and spiritual values and beliefs in which outlines health maintenance, protection, and restoration. The difference in values and beliefs has a huge impact on the way people live their lives in all cultures. “Cultural differences affect patients’ attitudes about medical care and their ability to understand, manage, and cope with the course of an illness, the meaning of a diagnosis, and the consequences of medical treatment.” (Euromed Info, n.d., para. 9).

By examining three different cultures and know how their heritage affects the way they look at healthcare, it allows a person to realize there are so many different heritages and beliefs within the United States that everyone should be accepting of. First, the Liberian culture as stated by Raymond Gwenigale perceives themselves as being in pretty good shape overall and nobody smokes. This culture works very hard, especially in the fields and that helps to keep them in shape, and their diet is quite healthy with eating many fruits and vegetables along with rice as being the main staple. Liberians believe in both indigenous medicine such as witchcraft and medicine men, but also believe in western medicine. They do not use western medicine to prevent sickness and death and do not go to the doctor unless they are very sick. This culture uses a lot of witchcraft to prevent sickness and death. For example, many Liberians believe that the witches are evil and prefer boys.

So moms pierce the ears of baby boys, or braid their hair because they try to make them look like baby girls so the witches don’t take them. Many Liberians also wear amulets on their bodies to ward off spirits. They also put wooden bracelets on baby’s feet to ward off illness so if the child is going to die, you can grab the bracelet and pull the baby back into this world. Liberians do not wear seatbelts or bike helmets so when there are money bus accidents, they are usually pretty bad. Money busses are the public busses which are pick-up trucks with benches in the back. Some of them are covered and some are not. There are usually 14 people in one of these money busses, catching a ride to the market. When there is an accident many people are injured quite badly. The cities and towns have plumbing but the rural villages in Liberia do not.

One thing they do to help protect their health is to make sure that people are going to the bathroom in designated spots so it does not get in with their food and water supply. Another belief Liberians have is that men do not have intercourse with women that are breastfeeding. They say that this spoils the milk. For Liberians, babies must to be able to eat other food before another baby comes along. Having babies too soon together would mean there was not enough milk to feed them all. This is considered spoiling the milk supply for the current baby if a woman becomes pregnant. Also, in Liberia the water is not good in villages. Everyone must boil it to get the bacteria out and not everyone does that so it is quite bad to use formula because babies get sick from it as it is mixed with bad water. Therefore breastfeeding is a great way to keep the babies healthy.

Raymond stated that Liberians combine Western and indigenous health care systems pretty easily. They call Western medicine Qui Medicine. They usually try traditional medicine before western medicine, so frequently their disease has spread or become very bad when they go into the clinic or hospital. Most Liberians have no problem believing in both biological and supernatural causes for their diseases. They say that their disease is caused by something biological, but at the same time they ask “Why did this happen to me?” They then attribute this to something like witchcraft, the breeze, a dream they had, the cold, or the evil intentions and thoughts of other people. When they are sick they will frequently say someone cursed or witched them. As part of the healing process they spend a lot of time trying to figure out who did this to them and much energy is spent hearing witchcraft stories.

In the Liberian culture many times people will be in the hospital getting treated by Western medicine and also having witch doctors visit them to do chalk rubbings. They really use both simultaneously because they believe in both. The second culture to elaborate on is the Irish culture in which Stephen Kane was interviewed. Northern Ireland is Protestant and Catholic. The Catholics are pretty strict about things like birth control and abortion is illegal in Ireland even for medically indicated reasons. In this culture it is considered to be doing heavy physical exercise by running once every few months versus on a daily or weekly basis like in the United States. They do wear seatbelts and helmets, but do not have a great diet due to drinking and smoking. Because smoking is more acceptable in the European culture than in the United States, the Irish do smoke much more. A staple to eat is fish and chips which is just deep fried fish and french fries.

There is a national health care program in Ireland which is so different than the healthcare in the United States. Resources are more limited in Northern Ireland and are a little more rationed out. Everyone that needs care gets care. In Ireland they do not stress out about medical bills and nobody goes bankrupt or loses a home because of an accident. In this culture they also are more likely to get help earlier on because they can afford it as it is part of a national program. One thing the Irish are bad about doing is following doctor’s orders. In this culture, people stop doing what their doctors tell them to do once they start feeling better, which is not a good practice as they are not allowing their bodies to fully become healthy again. Lastly, the Hmong culture is generally quite healthy. Sonja Her states that their diets are based largely on soups, vegetables, rice and noodles. Also, many people in this community are gardeners. They tend to have big gardens and grow their own foods to sell at the farmer’s markets. This also allows for more exercise and healthy food.

The majority of Hmong people are either Shaman or Christian. Most families have someone that know how to use herbs to keep healthy and many make different teas or ointments from herbs they buy at the Hmong markets or grow in their gardens. Families also try to take care of basic aches and pain, colds, flu and things like arthritis at home. By trying to treat these types of things at home, many Hmong woman do spooning or rubbing an area of skin vigorously with a spoon. They also do cupping, which is applying negative suction pressure on the skin with a cup. Most Hmong people follow all the major rules in the Unites States concerning helmets and seat belts. They also highly believe in amulets and protections strings which are red necklaces with silver and brass, white cloths with red or white strings on the neck, wrists or arms. This culture believes these accessories carry a power and will protect them.

Like most Americans, Hmong believe that illnesses are caused by things like diseases, accidents, environment and hereditary factors. They also believe that the soul can cause some illnesses which is believed more so by the older generation. They feel that when a person becomes sick it is because they upset the spirits making them wander away from the body. They feel they become sick at this moment because the spirits are unable to find their way back to the body. Sometimes it’s an injury that causes the spirit to leave, or feeling sad, lonely or afraid. They also believe people can get sick after a frightening event and the spirit might leave out of fear. The newer generation of Hmong does utilize the tradition of using the herbs, tea, cupping and spooning but generally prefer to see their doctor for any illnesses so they are able to be treated appropriately and quickly.

By examining the differences of these three cultures, it is very apparent that each of them are quite different but this writer did find some similarities with each of them. We all continue to stay in close contact with relatives even though they do not live in close proximity. We all attended public school, celebrate religious holidays, and prepare foods from our ethnic backgrounds. When comparing their health traditions to this writer’s, it seems as though we all will see a doctor for our health care but generally do not go in until it is absolutely necessary.

“Culture is shaped by values, beliefs, norms, and practices that are shared by members of the same cultural group and cultural values are unique, individual expressions of a particular culture that have been accepted as appropriate over time” (Edelman & Mandle, 2010, p. 33) With this said, it is so incredibly important to be non-stereotypical so it is easier to be accepting of other cultures and truly have the opportunity to appreciate how they live by their traditions.

References
Edelman, C. L., & Mandle, C. L. (2010). Health Promotion Throughout the Lifespan (7th ed.). [Evolve]. Retrieved from http://pageburstls.elsevier.com/#/books/9780323056625/pages/49129901 How culture influences health beliefs. (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://www.euromedinfo.eu/how-culture-influences-health-beliefs.html/

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Heritage Assessment Essay

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Heritage Assessment Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 751

  • Pages: 3

Heritage Assessment

What is a heritage assessment? A heritage assessment is a subpart to the overall nursing assessment. Assessing a patient’s heritage allows the nurse to obtain more information about a patient’s culture, including beliefs about health and values, this is important to providing cultural health care. One’s heritage includes information about their cultural beliefs and practices of the family and ethno religious community (Jarvis, C. , 2012).

Through a heritage assessment the nurse can obtain a vast amount of information about the patient/ family, including but not limited to, where ancestors were born, how many siblings they have, if the family originated in another country, how often time is spent with family, religion, if the patient prefers the company of people with the same values and religion or ethnic background, what type of foods the patient prepares, and the patient’s native language.

This paper will discuss what the author learned from completing a heritage assessment tool, the usefulness of a heritage assessment tool when assessing a patient/ family/ community as a whole. This paper will also compare the health traditions of three different families (and cultures) to include, health maintenance, health protection, and health restoration, while identifying common traditions based on the author’s heritage. What the families ascribe their traditions to will also be discussed.

To begin, what was learned from the heritage assessment tool and why it is useful to apply a heritage assessment in evaluating the needs of a “whole” person should be discussed. Useful information and insight was gained from completing the heritage assessment tool. Once complete, there were lots of negative responses noted, meaning, the author has very little identification with her traditional heritage. It should not be assumed that everyone identifies with their traditional heritage; this could in turn result in the delivery of poor health care and/ or education.

If you are not already familiar with your beliefs and practices the heritage assessment tool is very helpful in getting you there, and helping you learn more about what heritage is. When evaluating the needs of a “whole” person a heritage assessment is useful and necessary. One of the most important reasons that a heritage assessment is useful is because it helps practitioners in providing culturally appropriate health care. Discovering what cultures and beliefs you are facing through appropriate assessment is very important.

The culturally competent nurse must have knowledge in four areas: (1) your own personal heritage (which one can discover through the heritage assessment tool), (2) the heritage of the nursing profession, (3) the heritage of the health care system, and (4) the heritage of the patient (utilization of a heritage assessment tool is also helpful). Throughout nursing education various types of physical examination and assessments are learned, including, health history, mental health assessment, and nutritional assessment.

However, depending on the patient’s heritage the information you gather may vary widely, therefore a heritage assessment must be an integral part of a complete physical and health assessment (Jarvis, C. , 2012). Next, health traditions will be discussed. Health traditions vary greatly amongst different cultures. The three areas to be discussed for the purpose of this paper are; health maintenance (how families maintain health and prevent illness); health protection (what measures are taken to protect the body from illness); and health restoration (what is done to restore the body o the prior level of functioning after an illness).

Three families from different cultures were interviewed about the three areas mentioned. The cultural backgrounds included that of the author (African American), Mexican American, and Caucasian American. The findings of the interviews are identified in the table below (information including but not limited to what is listed). These families of different cultures ascribed their health traditions to different things.

The African American family states that their health traditions are passed down by elders (grandparents), of both sexes. The Mexican American family ascribes their traditions to the women of the family, stating that it is a female responsibility to pass down traditions regarding heath. The Caucasian American family states that they received their knowledge of health from what is or has been proved by science, and usually each mother of the household is responsible for the health of the family.

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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1028

  • Pages: 4

Heritage Assessment

The culture of a person can change the way one views different aspects in life. Medical professionals are not exempt from this. Patients may be treated by one medical professional differently than they would be treated by the next just based on the culture the medical professional grew up in. This paper will examine the usefulness of applying the heritage assessment tool in evaluating the needs of the whole person. This author’s family and two other families have been interviewed and in this paper it will be explained how the cultures differ from one another, as well as showing many similarities regarding ones view on healthcare. Healthcare in America has changed drastically over the years. One reason for this is the recent trend in immigration and migration to the United States. With this, the United States is experiencing many different cultures that bring different values and beliefs. This brings a challenge to healthcare professionals as they attempt to care for patients as individuals.

The heritage assessment tool is a list of 29 questions that can be asked regarding family, religion, traditions, demographics and food choices. The more positive answers one gives the greater the person’s identification with traditional heritage is. This tool is unique due to the fact that unless you are siblings no two people’s answers will be the same. The questions are the same but the answers are individual. This assessment tool was beneficial when interviewing these families because it helped the interviewer to see how ones heritage sways their values and beliefs and their outlook on the importance of health care. Using this tool also shows the uniqueness of different cultures and how beliefs are passes from generation to generation. Another interesting thing the assessment tool does is that it shows interesting similarities between people from different cultures as well.

The heritage assessment was used in analyzing the writer’s heritage and all 29 questions were answered with mostly positive answers. This writer’s family has high expectations regarding their healthcare. Modern medicine is the choice for this family and healthcare is very important to them. Yearly checkups with a primary care provider are sought out. Healthcare is paid for using an insurance health plan and cash to cover deductibles. However, this family’s heritage also includes some older home remedies. The elders used to believe that if you had fever they could use rubbing alcohol and bath you in it and it would make the fever go away. This culture also believes you should avoid chocolate to prevent acne. There is also a belief that eating carrots could make your eyesight better. These wives tales have been passed from generation to generation.

The preferred food for this family was red meats and the only common health problem appeared to be hypertension. The second family assessed came to the United States as migrant workers in the early 1960’s from Mexico and started having a family here and have been In the United States since. This family also had mostly positive results on the assessment tool. This family has high beliefs in preserving their ancestor’s traditions. This family did report that due to finances modern medical treatment was not of great importance to them. This family reported that being of lower income they had to use what they call a Curandera( witch doctor) for medical purposes. The Curandera is trusted in the Mexican culture to give healthcare advice and remedies. This family prefers using the Curandera for reason such as being in the states illegally and they feared being turned in if they went to modern medical clinics. The heritage of the Mexicans also has many home rituals that are believed to work besides medicine. This culture uses candle burning for healing purposes.

The fat from a cow’s udder is also used for killing pain according to this family. The diet of the Mexican culture is high in fat. This culture also believes in the “evil eye” and believes that this can cause illness or curses and they were black charms to keep this evil away. One common health problem this family reported was a trend with diabetes. The third person interviewed immigrated to America in 1969 from Greece. This family came to America Due to military purposes. The woman interviewed explained that she grew up in Athens Greece and that family and the Greek culture is very important to them. This person also reported that teaching her children to speak Greek even though they grew up in the US was a must. The woman interviewed, explained that health care is very important to the Greek culture.

She stated that there is free health care for the poor. Some people have private insurance, but she talked of her family being farmers and they paid into a private insurance once a year that covered anything medical that they needed. She reports that they get a book and all their medical treatments and illnesses are kept in this book. According to the woman interviewed many people in this culture also turn to a witch doctor for health care treatment and advice. This culture also believes in the evil eye; however this family report wearing a blue eye, or gem around their neck or on a bracelet to protect them from the evil This family reports that one of their favorite staples is lamb. There are many things learned from a person’s heritage that affect the way we think of others and of health care needs. Being aware of the differences in cultures may help medical professionals to provide better quality healthcare.

Reference
Edelman, C. L. (2010). Emerging Populations and Health. In Health Promotion Throughout the Life Span. Healthy People 2010 (2009). Goal 2: Eliminate Health Disparities. Retrieved on October 5, 2012 from http://healthypeople.gov/data/midcourse/html/exesummary/Goal2.htm Spector, R. E.(2009). Cultural Diversity in Health and Illness (7thed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education,Inc.

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