November 01, 2010
Cultural Diversity in Nursing Care
Health in all cultures is an important aspect of life. A person’s cultural background, religion and/or beliefs, greatly influences a person’s health and their response to medical care (Spector, 2004). These diverse cultures guide decisions made in daily life; what food eaten, living arrangements made, medications taken and medical advice listened to. A nurse must be knowledgeable and respectful of these diverse cultures and understand their importance when providing care. This understanding helps to build a strong nurse/patient relationship, increasing patient compliance, which ensures positive outcomes are met. Patients who are satisfied with their care are more likely to continue their treatment especially when their cultural beliefs are considered (Flowers, 2005). This paper will discuss the importance of a heritage assessment, compare the differences of three different families’ cultural beliefs and address their health maintenance, protection and restoration.
In 2008, 34 percent of America’s population claimed a minority or ethnic heritage (Minckler, 2008). The Census Bureau reports the U.S. population is becoming increasingly diverse with Hispanics and Asians the fastest growing minorities (Minckler, 2008). Heritage assessments are used to create cultural awareness. Understanding the underlying principles of different cultures gives healthcare workers the ability to use different avenues to achieve the same results, resulting in better outcomes.
First Family’s Heritage Assessment The first family is a mix of German, English, Spanish and American Indian. The majority of family members live in North Carolina and Virginia. Work, family and religion are very important. Her childhood was spent living next to her grandmother with several aunts, uncles and cousins living close by. She went to school with several cousins and they were
References: Flowers, D. L. (2005, February, 2005). Culturally competent nursing care for American Indian clients in a critical care setting. American Association Critical Care Nurses, 25. Retrieved from http://ccn.aacnjournals.org/cgi/reprint/25/1/45.pdf Minckler, D. (2008). U.S. minority population continues to grow. Retrieved from http://www.america.gov/st/peopleplace-english/2008/May/20080513175840zjsredna0.1815607.html Spector, R. E. (2004). Cultural diversity in health and illness (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson.