Week 2 Disc 6512 Diversity and Health Assessments
May 2012, Alice Randall wrote an article for The New York Times on the cultural factors that encouraged black women to maintain a weight above what is considered healthy. Randall explained—from her observations and her personal experience as a black woman—that many African-American communities and cultures consider women who are overweight to be more beautiful and desirable than women at a healthier weight. As she put it, “Many black women are fat because we want to be” (Randall, 2012).
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Randall’s statements sparked a great deal of controversy and debate; however, they emphasize an underlying reality in the healthcare field: different populations, cultures, and groups have diverse beliefs and practices that impact their health. Nurses and healthcare professionals should be aware of this reality and adapt their health assessment techniques and recommendations to accommodate diversity.
In this Discussion, you will consider different socioeconomic, spiritual, lifestyle, and other cultural factors that should be taken into considerations when building a health history for patients with diverse backgrounds. Your Instructor will assign a case study to you for this Discussion.
Reflect on your experiences as a nurse and on the information provided in this week’s Learning Resources on diversity issues in health assessments.
By Day 1 of this week, you will be assigned a case study by your Instructor. Note: Please see the “Course Announcements” section of the classroom for your case study assignment.
Reflect on the specific socioeconomic, spiritual, lifestyle, and other cultural factors related to the health of the patient assigned to you.
Consider how you would build a health history for the patient. What questions would you ask, and how would you frame them to be sensitive to the patient’s background, lifestyle, and culture? Develop five targeted questions you would ask the patient to build his or her health history and to assess his or her health risks.
Think about the challenges associated with communicating with patients from a variety of specific populations. What strategies can you as a nurse employ to be sensitive to different cultural factors while gathering the pertinent information?
By Day 3 of Week 2
Post an explanation of the specific socioeconomic, spiritual, lifestyle, and other cultural factors associated with the patient you were assigned. Explain the issues that you would need to be sensitive to when interacting with the patient, and why. Provide at least five targeted questions you would ask the patient to build his or her health history and to assess his or her health risks.
IMPORTANT NOTES THAT WILL GUIDE YOU WHEN WRITING THIS ASSIGNMENT
As a nurse, you should be aware of the culture and customs of the people in your community. This will ensure that you can serve them properly and respectfully. If you are new to this job, then it is important for you to know how to gather information from patients, family members or friends without offending anyone or making them feel uneasy about being approached by someone who does not belong at their home/office/hospital since all these places have rules against unauthorized visitors. Here are some strategies that can help:
When you are gathering the pertinent information, it is important to know the cultural norms of your patients. This means that you need to know what is considered rude or inappropriate behavior, what language they prefer and how they express themselves verbally and non-verbally. You also need to understand how gender roles work in their society so that you can correctly identify whether there has been any change from previous generations.
If you have never been to the country where your patient lives, it is important that you do some research before traveling. The more information that one has about their destination, the better able they will be to interact with people and understand what is going on around them.
It is also important for nurses who are planning on working in a foreign country so that they can learn about culture differences between their home country and theirs. The following are some tips for finding out more about local customs:
If you are a nurse and want to be sensitive to various cultural factors while gathering the pertinent information, it is important that you know what is considered rude or inappropriate behavior in the different cultures.
The following are some of the cultural norms:
In a culture that expects men and women to be treated differently, it can be hard for nurses who are not familiar with the language and customs of their patients’ home cultures. Be aware that men may have different expectations than women on what is appropriate behavior. For example, in some cultures it is expected that men provide food for their families while women tend to care for children or elderly members of the family. It’s also important to recognize which tasks fall into which gender role because these roles vary depending on location and culture.
You can better serve your patients by knowing when and how to be sensitive to cultural factors while gathering pertinent information. When it comes to international medical practice, there are many aspects that need attention:
In conclusion, knowing how to be sensitive to cultural factors while gathering the pertinent information is essential for nurses. It will allow you to better serve your patients by being more culturally aware and developing a deeper understanding of their lives.
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