Nursing in the United States today is a challenge due to the many technological advancements and dealing with a nation that has clients that are from diverse culture groups and ethnic backgrounds whose beliefs and needs vary. (Wehbe-Alamah, 2008) In order for the nurse to provide the care to this diverse group of individuals the need for an understanding of the various cultures is needed. “Culture is defined as patterned lifeways, values, beliefs, norms, symbols, and practices of individuals, groups, or institutions that are learned, shared, and usually transmitted intergenerationally over time” (Kearney-Nunnery, 2008). The cultural group that this paper will focus on is that of the Arab Muslim in the United States. The population of Muslims in the U.S. is unclear but it is estimated by the Council on American-Islamic Relations that there is 6 to 7 million Muslims of which 23% are Arab. (Yosef, 2008)
As a critical care nurse in a large facility the patient cultural mix is varied. Some patients are travelors who are visiting the area on vacation. One such travelor was Mr. A who while in San Antonio with his wife and sons visiting the campus at a local university where one of his sons was to attend. He began to experience cold-like symptoms and went to a minor emergency clinic where he was given some antibiotics. The symptoms progressed and was seen in the ER the facility where I worked and sent back to the hotel only to return within 24 hours for an increase in respiratory difficulties. He was sent to my unit with Acute Respiratory Distress (ARDS) and was immediately intubated and placed on a ventilator. Mr. A’s wife reported that he had received all his immunizations including a flu shot prior to traveling. The diagnosis was Influenza A that had progressed to ARDs and Multisystem Organ Dysfuntion Syndrome (MODS). This case was not only challenging due to Mr. A’s illness but the cultural and religious... [continues]
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