Cultural Views on Health

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Health beliefs and cultural practices are an essential part of today’s multicultural society. It is beneficial for medical providers to be aware of the perspectives of different cultures. Minorities suffer from receiving proper health care because of lack of jobs, no insurance, and their cultural beliefs. A person’s cultural background can affect medical treatment and health care needs he or she may receive. People from different cultures have different beliefs on health care. The two different cultures I chose to discuss are Hispanic American and African American cultural views. I will be discussing the cultural views between Hispanic Americans and African Americans and their views on health care.

The majority of Hispanic Americans are Catholics. Religious beliefs and spirituality play important roles in health care of Hispanic cultures in the United States. Mexican American believes health is a gift from God and their health problems are a result of God’s will. Some Mexican Americans may not have resources for health care and use traditional healings to treat their illness. Hispanics respect their elders and the men within their culture. According to Transcultural Nursing (1997-2008), Hispanics are accustomed to the professionalism of social workers, so they rely on their family and close friends for support or help. Curanderos and Santeros are two common healing practices among the Hispanic culture. Curanderos are naturalist healers who use herbs and plant to heal illnesses. Santeros use the power of the saints to heal and counsel.

The majority of African Americans are Christians. Many African Americans view religious as an essential part of life. African Americans view God as the source of good health and a source of serious illness. Many African Americans rely on religion, family, and social connections for support because of the unfairness they have encountered in the past. Many African Americans think they receive poor health care...
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