Beliefs About Health and Wellness

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Beliefs About Health and Wellness:

A Comparison of American and Chinese Cultures

Being knowledgeable about cultural differences prevents misconceptions of a culture by the viewing of another. The culture in which a person lives tends to imprint its beliefs and morals on that person from the time he/she is born. In this essay, I will compare cultural values and beliefs about health and wellness in American and Chinese cultures. Since this is a huge subject I will limit the discussion to four aspects:

Cultural Values
Family Characteristics
Causes of Illnesses
Modalities of Diagnosis and Treatment
It is very important for nurses to be able to provide culturally competent care, which means that they need to learn as much as possible about the belief system and practice of their patients, and apply those knowledge when providing care. As the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health wrote in his definition of cultural competency (2005): “health care services that are respectful of and responsive to the health beliefs, practices and cultural and linguistic needs of diverse patients can help bring about positive health outcomes”(para 2). Cultural Values

Our society, in the United States, is made up of people from many different culturally diverse backgrounds. Culture includes both dominant and minority groups. A dominant group is the group within a country or society that has the most authority to control values and sanctions of the society, and in the United States it is composed of white middle-class people. According with Taylor, Lillis, LeMone and Lynn (2008), some of the values of our society include the following: “youth and beauty, success and achievement, independence and self-reliance, technology, duty and conscience”(p. 56). In contrast, one of the oldest cultures in the world, China has different values: high respect for age, strong sense of self-respect and self-control, strong emphasis on...
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