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Patient cultural assessment paper - Essay Example

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Human diversity is a complex issue for the nurse, that has many inter-linking facets providing novel situations, ethical dilemmas, and also a wealth of skills, knowledge and competencies to solving critical health and social care issues. Nursing is a social activity and so the range of patient, co-worker and the general public temperaments that personal will come into contact with is vast (Carillo, Green, & Betancourt, 1990)…
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Patient cultural assessment paper
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Download file to see previous pages Firstly, a description of the responsibilities of nurses (in the 21st century) to multicultural issues will be presented. Secondly, the needs and expectations of an American Indian with regard to health care delivery will be explored. A conclusion will synthesize the main points of the paper and place it in the larger context of clinical governance.
Communication, care and justice and fairness within nursing are critical issues as staff must be able to engage with, and develop therapeutic relationships with a diverse range of individuals, cultures, communities and aggregate groups that comprise a community. In order to be sensitive to the human diversity of patients, it is evident to that a nurse must continually develop skills of sensitivity to other's ways of expressing their needs, expectations and responses to health care issues (Carillo, Green, & Betancourt, 1990). Further, the nurse must cultivate an awareness of the socio-political issues within her community which will impact on decision-making of patient care, such as gender roles, issues of multiculturalism, and social protection of the socially excluded (e.g., the elderly, disabled, the homeless and minority groups). These relationships are bound up in concepts of power, and the nurse must be aware that they are perceived as the one's who have the power (in the form of knowledge) by the patients (Carillo, Green, & Betancourt, 1990). The nurse must remain aware of the influence the power the role of the nurse brings with it, and so not unduly influence a patient deciding on their treatment, as this would infringe on the patient's right to not be coerced into any particular procedure.
Turning now to the culture of an American Indian, concepts of beliefs, values and expectations of health care needs will be discussed. In contrast to the existing (although changing) biomedical model of health and well being, many indigenous patients attribute causes of their illness to factors very different to those considered by Western healthcare (Queensland Government, 2006). For example, it is not unusual for an American Indian to have an aversion to X-rays, which are not so different from photographs (often considered to be 'soul stealers' in indigenous belief systems). It is also not unusual for an American Indian to have a different concept of the course of an illness or ill health, such as the influence of natural forces, rather than subscribing to the germ theory of disease (Zucherman, Haley, Roubideaux, & Lillie-Blanton, 2004). Alternatively, an American Indian may feel hesitant about receiving an injection as it is introducing a foreign substance into their body, and their socio-cultural construction of life does not have a place for such an activity. It is important for a nurse to be educated about differences in perception of illness and well being, as these cultural forces influence belief systems that may explain why an indigenous patient does, or does not, choose to adhere to a treatment or health promoting activity.
Family and the community also play a large role in American Indian health belief systems, as they belong to a collectivist culture. Hence, the individual in society is de-emphasized and the social group as a whole becomes the focus of importance when making ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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