Culture and Cultural Competency in Health Promotion

Topics: Health care, Culture, Nursing Pages: 5 (1681 words) Published: June 17, 2012

Culture and Cultural Competency in Health Promotion
Grand Canyon University
Family Centered Health Promotion
Renita Holmes
May 17, 2012

Culture and Cultural Competency in Health Promotion
In nursing school, nurses are trained to value and understand individuals from many different cultures, maintaining the rights and dignity of each individual. In today’s society, nurses are responsible for interacting and caring for individuals from cultures of every kind. That being said, cultural competence in nursing is essential to providing quality care to patients. Cultural competence is “the ability to provide effective care for clients who come from different cultures” (Anderson, 2012). To be culturally competent, nurses must recognize their own beliefs, as well as those of the patient, evading stereotyping and misapplication of scientific information. Cultural competence entails obtaining cultural information and then applying that knowledge (Cultural Diversity in Nursing, 2012). Cultural competence requires the nurse to be sensitive to patient’s cultural needs and provide effective communication, both verbal and non-verbal. The purpose of this paper is to discuss culture and cultural competency in health promotion, focusing on using a heritage assessment tool and interviewing individuals from three different cultural backgrounds to compare the differences in health traditions between these cultures. Heritage Assessment Tool

The use of a heritage assessment tool is helpful in collecting data from patients to get a better understanding of their culture and cultural needs. Utilizing a heritage assessment tool may help the nurse to identify and understand the needs of a patient as a whole. By identifying the patient’s needs, the nurse gains insight in helping develop a plan of care that is most beneficial for any specific patient (de la Torre & Mason, 2000, p. 5). A portion of the heritage assessment tool that is helpful in recognizing patient risk factors is the section which addresses the origin of birth of the patient’s parents. By recognizing a patient’s ethnicity, the nurse may consider genetic predispositions and health risks that are related to specific cultures, addressing these as needed. The heritage assessment tool also assesses the significance, or lack thereof, of how family members are involved in the care of a particular patient. A patient’s personal relationship with their family and/or their culture may significantly effect the decisions a patient makes. Assessing the values of a patient’s heritage is essential, as cultural values strongly affect the decisions that are made regarding their care (de la Torre & Mason, 2000, p. 5). Health maintenance, protection and restoration of different cultures and how the families ascribe to these traditions and practices In preparation for this assignment, this student interviewed families of three different cultural backgrounds using the heritage assessment tool. This student evaluated a Nigerian family, a Hispanic family and a Chinese family, focusing on how each heritage maintains, protects and restores health. For Nigerian families, health protection begins at birth. For example, it is common for Nigerian mothers to breastfeed children for long periods of time, often up to age five or six. The Nigerian culture also believes that women who have just given birth should be placed on a special diet, allowing the women to regain nutrients lost during pregnancy (Onyeabochukwu, 2007). Health maintenance is also important to the Nigerian culture. Physical activity is important to their culture, helping to protect against health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Farming is a large part of the Nigerian culture and requires optimum physical health. When farming season is over, it is a common practice for people to participate in wrestling combat or play soccer, promoting...

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De la Torre, M., & Mason, R. (2000). Assessing the values of cultural heritage (Masters Thesis, The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 2000). Retrieved from
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