The Importance of Culture in Nursing Care

Topics: Health care provider, Health care, Patient Pages: 3 (1642 words) Published: October 31, 2014
Korean-Americans are the fastest growing subgroup of Asian Americans. In a 10 mile radius of the hospital I work in the Korean population varies from about 10 to more than 50 of the population comprising some of the surrounding towns (Holy Name Medical Center Korean Medical Program, 2013). Therefore, it is very important for healthcare providers to be able to communicate with this culture. In response to the needs of the patients, our hospital has created the Korean Medical Program. The program provides Korean speaking doctors and support staff that can assist in coordinating all their healthcare needs. They provide Korean translators, menus, television channels for inpatients and a shuttle service with Korean speaking drivers from surrounding town for outpatients. Through this program and research for this paper I have gained a significant insight into the Korean culture. Physiologically, Koreans have very distinctive physical characteristics. A few of these characteristics include small slanted eyes, a yellow skin tone, and a flat face (Barkauskas et al., 2002). These characteristics differ greatly from the physical characteristics of Americans and can make it difficult for American practitioners to determine abnormalities in the Korean people. The health care provider must be very careful in checking for many diseases in all people but it is vitally important in diseases that must be determined by skin coloring. Dealing with light skinned people is very different than dealing with darker skinned people. When people are ill, their skin loses its richness and becomes dull. Since the health care provider does not know what a persons normal complexion is, they must rely on several factors. In the Korean population, factors to check would be their palms, tongue, and beds of the fingernail. In some cases one may need to ask them to remove nail polish (Henley, 1999). One disease that is difficult to diagnose in Koreans is jaundice because it causes the skin to...
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