Cultural Healthcare Practices of Hispanic Women During Pregnancy and Birth

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The United States is comprised of many cultures within a culture. America is composed of a variety of people who all have different beliefs and traditions, as well as their own unique set of beliefs regarding their healthcare practices. One such group is the Hispanic Americans who have their own very diverse cultural group. As individuals, they are just like anybody else in any other culture. However, it is worthwhile for a nurse caring for someone from this culture to know what their distinct cultural beliefs are. People belonging to a Hispanic cultural group are highly attached to the beliefs and values of their culture and follow them in every aspect of their life (Gallo, 2003). Interestingly, their cultural beliefs even influence the decisions related to their healthcare. Hence, this is the reason why in order to meet their patient’s cultural needs, it’s important for people working in the nursing profession to understand the cultural values, traditions and practices related to the aspect of health and medical care during life transitions. The viewpoint of the Hispanic cultures healthcare practices will be presented through the lens of the Giger and Davidhizar Transcultural Assessment Model, in order to define a deeper understanding of their beliefs. Giger and Davidhizar’s Transcultural Assessment Model

According to Giger and Davidhizar’s Transcultural Assessment Model (GDTAM) (1999), “culture guides our thinking, doing, and being and becomes patterned expressions of who we are, and is passed down from generation to generation” (p.3). GDTAM is a very broad and in depth model, and provides nursing students with an understanding about the important role in which the knowledge of culture plays in the nursing profession (Giger & Davidhizar, 1999). The five metaparadigms of the GDTAM are “culturally diverse nursing care, culturally competent care, culturally unique individuals, culturally sensitive environment and health and health status based on culturally specific illness and wellness behavior” (Giger & Davidhizar, 1999, p.6). Within the culturally diverse nursing care metaparadigm, the six cultural phenomena exist; they include “communication, space, social organization, time, environmental control, and biological variations” (Giger & Davidhizar, 1999, p.7). Each individual has their own cultural uniqueness and these six cultural phenomena can be used to assess people based on their differences. Within the next few paragraphs insight will be provided on how the six cultural phenomena come into play when working the Hispanic culture. Communication

Communication within the Hispanic culture involves personalismo and respeto. Personalismo can be described as the need for a close relationship between the patient and the healthcare provider; this can be as simple as “asking about the patient’s family and interests” before proceeding with medical care (Galanti, 2008, p33). When the healthcare provider takes the time to form this relationship with the patient, the patient will have more respect for and be more likely to follow the recommendations of the provider (Galanti, 2008). According to Galanti (2008), “respeto or respect is an important cultural value in the Hispanic culture and can actually lead to poorer communication between patients and providers” (p.35). This communication barrier is due to the respect that patients and their family have for the physician and his/her time and not wanting to bother the provider with questions, therefore, physicians need to make sure that all of the patients questions are answered by “asking patients what questions they have” (Galanti, 2008). Space

Hispanics prefer a closer interpersonal distance and physical touching; however, in the healthcare setting they may prefer to be cared for by someone of the same sex, due to modesty (Giger & Davidhizar, 1999). Nurses need to take this into consideration when planning the care of a Hispanic patient. Social Organization

In the...
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