Cultural assessment - Essay Example

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Most of these natives reside in the state of Hawaii, California, Nevada, and Washington. US 2000 Census Bureau reported 401,162 native Hawaiian as a combination with other…
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Cultural Assessment 20th, October, Native Hawaiians trace their ancestry back to the original Polynesian settlers of the Hawaii islands. Most of these natives reside in the state of Hawaii, California, Nevada, and Washington. US 2000 Census Bureau reported 401,162 native Hawaiian as a combination with other tribes. While two thirds of native Hawaiians live in Hawaii, the rest are scattered throughout in other states (“Census,” 2001). They first settled in Hawaii before 800 AD and conquered the original inhabitants. Arguably, before 1900 Hawaii had its natives almost wiped out by diseases like measles, whooping cough, influenza and smallpox because they did not have prevention measures (Wergowske and Blanchette, N.d). However, this has changed over time and tremendous growth of this tribe occurred. Hawaiian language is the forms part of the native language but many have abandoned it for English. Education has a high place in this tribe with Hawaiian children receiving public education like many of US citizens. In addition, there exists special education system where Hawaiian children learn using their native language. This have helped improve the level of literacy in this tribe.
Hawaiians belief that health is a holistic issue and thus should be taken seriously. They use the term Lokahi to express their understanding of health. Lokahi means balance or harmony. In this culture, a person is healthy when their physical, mental, and spiritual parts are peaceful. Healing can only occur traditionally after putting things straight in the spiritual realm. They believe that illnesses affect the entire family, which calls for consulting every member of the family on the treatment plans (“Stanford,” 2012). Hawaiians have adopted poor eating habits from the westerners eating food high in fat and low in complex carbohydrates. Therefore, diabetes is a common disease to Hawaiians with a prevalence rate of 69.3%. A return to the old eating habits can help lower this prevalence. Hawaiian islanders grow traditional foodstuffs like taro, and sweet potatoes that are quite nutritious (Roger, 2011). Apart from obesity, other diseases that are catching up on this population include cardiovascular diseases due to change from fishing to canned fish (“Stanford,” 2012).
Hawaiians traditional healing practices include massage, tacking some herbs, prayer and conflict resolution. These beliefs have hindered Hawaiians from accessing helpful medical treatments. There are tremendous changes in the way Hawaiians seek medical treatments nowadays. However, Hawaiians require cultural competent persons who understand their beliefs to listen to them before convincing them to a certain treatment. This is because some native Hawaiians still hold onto the traditional beliefs that sickness result from some mistakes. Some of Hawaiian traditions conflict with the normal healthcare practices in their nature. For instance, when caring for a Samoan patient, it will be hard to have the patient undress in the presence of the care provider. Traditions do not allow questioning regarding sexual relations, venereal diseases or menstrual cycles. Additionally, unlike in other patients, Hawaiian patients require the caregiver to ask for permission to touch and perform some physical examinations (“Stanford,” 2012).
This research used Leininger cultural assessment theory that requires the nurse and the patient to creatively design care lifestyle for the well-being of the client. It has a main strength in that it focuses on well-being of the patient after being accorded necessary healthcare. It recognizes cultural diversity thus accommodating various tribes. One weakness of this assessment is the larger involvement of the patient who might be uncooperative. In conclusion, culture impacts on quality healthcare.
“Census” (2001). “Profile of General Demographics Characteristics.” Retrieved From,
“Stanford School of Medicine,” (2012). “Traditional Health Beliefs: Native Hawaiian Values” Retrieved From,
Roger et al. (2011). “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2011 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association,” AHA Journals, Retrieved From,
Wergowske, G., and Blanchette, P. (N.d). “Health And Health Care of Elders from Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Backgrounds,” Retrieved from, Read More
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