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Heritage Assessment - Assignment Example

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My background is Haitian. I was born in Haiti. Both of my parents and their parents were born in Haiti. When I was six, my family moved to the United States. Although we moved away from Haiti and my extended…
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Heritage Assessment
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I deeply identify with my own ethnic, cultural, and religious heritage. My background is Haitian. I was born in Haiti. Both of my parents and their parents were born in Haiti. When I was six, my family moved to the United States. Although we moved away from Haiti and my extended family, my four brothers and two sisters along with my mother settled into a community with Haitian roots. Many of my current friends have a similar background.
My culture is very rich. I love introducing my family to Manje Kreyòl, or Caribbean food. My children love the dishes I cook. The music called compas has been passed down to my children. They know many of the lyrics to the music I listen to. I have also maintained the Haitian language. It is French Creole. As a result I speak French, Spanish, Creole, and English. The religion practiced in Haiti and here for my family is Baptist. Religion is very important to me.
Although I live in the United States, I have not forgotten where I have come from. My religion, food, family, and culture are deeply rooted in Haiti. Although my family came to the United States for greater opportunities, this never impacted my feelings about my culture. I am Haitian. My traditions and beliefs have remained strongly rooted in my birthplace. My large family is unique in American culture. Coming from a large family has helped me understand sacrifice, love, and tradition. I will admit that I have become Americanized to a degree, but I will always be Haitian. That is the good thing about America. I can live here, but still retain my own culture.
My ethnic, cultural, and religious heritage will be useful to my healthcare related career in many ways. The first way my ethnic, cultural, and religious heritage will be useful is by knowing the Haitian people. For example, many Haitian children are not vaccinated. When I encounter a parent or child from Haiti that would be one of the first questions I ask. Another question would be if the patient from Haiti had a TB test. Haiti has a higher rate of TB than other countries. Other healthcare providers might not know these facts. Informing my colleges and fellow Haitians would help patients better understand each other. Sometimes Haitians that have newly arrived do not trust the government, medical staff, or others due to immigration status. If it is revealed that the child or adult does not have immunizations or a TB scan, the patient might feel that INES might be called. This can be very dangerous to the patient and everybody in contact with the patient. I would be able to explain that medical staff does not care about immigration status, only the welfare of the patient. These questions would be useful to my healthcare career.
Although I am a Baptist, most Haitians are Roman Catholic. Sometimes elements of voodoo are mixed with Catholic rites. This voodoo is not malicious. Healing traditions are common. While modern healthcare professionals might not believe in these traditions, many Haitians and Creoles do. When treating a patient these traditions are important. I can better understand other cultures traditions. For example, my Native American friend explained that killing a cricket indoors is bad luck. Knowing and respecting these different traditions can promote healing in a patient by giving them a positive attitude. While I do not necessarily believe in these traditions, I know that they are important to some patients.
I believe the most important area in which my ethnic, cultural, and religious heritage will be useful is in languages. I speak Spanish, French, Creole, and English. Not only can I translate from Haitian patients, but Spanish, French, and Creole as well. In the healthcare industry this is very important. The earthquake in Haiti, hurricanes in Louisiana, and other tragedies in areas predominately Spanish, French, and Creole need volunteers to help other healthcare professionals understand the population. Many times family members talk to each other in a native language, while speaking English to the healthcare professional. Sometimes a patient cannot explain properly the problem in English. Knowing different languages will help me understand patients better. This will help patients receive better care. I have always thought being multilingual is an advantage. Read More
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