Heritage Assessment Cultural competency is an essential part of nursing. Catering to the population of the United States as a nurse, one must embrace the cultures of others to provide competent care that will address the needs of the patient in a holistic manner. Beliefs of health management and care differ for all cultures. Being familiar with all backgrounds and cultures is a key factor in providing culturally appropriate care for patients. Illness and the care for illness and disease is viewed differently from culture to culture.
The ability to understand and respect the differences among all cultures needs to be utilized by all healthcare providers. Since the perception of illness and disease and their causes varies by culture, these individual preferences affect the approaches to health care. Culture also influences how people seek health care and how they behave toward health care providers (Cultural Diversity, 2012). As health care providers we must learn how to take the proper steps in assessing cultural backgrounds of patients.
Asking the appropriate questions can help create a treatment plan that will provide quality care that tends to the patients cultural beliefs as well. In assessment of three cultures: Filipino, Chinese, and Asian-Indians although they share similar views on health care they also have some differences as well. Health beliefs of the Chinese culture are centered on harmony and how to achieve it. Influences of this harmony involved, Yin/Yang, Relationship of elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, water, Psychosomatic Integration, Buddhism, and Taoism.
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In all the listed influences balance is the key factor that they share. Knowledge of historical experiences of Filipino cohort groups may provide health care providers with additional insights into an older person and the family members’ responses to clinical encounters and the recommended plan of care (McBride, 1996). Indigenous health beliefs of the Filipino culture like the Chinese culture centered on balance. The Filipino people call it “timbang” which is translated into balance. The belief that a rapid shift from hot to cold will end in illness for the individual, thus causing the body to be imbalanced.
For Asian-Indians Hinduism is a social system as well as a religion; therefore customs and practices are closely interwoven. "Karma" is a law of behavior and consequences in which actions of past life affects the circumstances in which one is born and lives in this life. Despite complete understanding of biological causes of illness, it is often believed that the illness is caused by "Karma" (Alagiakrishnan, 1996). They believe that the body was connected and looked at as a whole. Mind, body and spirit are one and health is highly tied to all factors of the whole being.
Asian- Indians also believe in balance that needs to be attained mentally, physically and spiritually to achieve balance within the entire being. Health protection for the Chinese culture derives from traditional Chinese treatments such as acupuncture to help realign the energy of the body, herbology to protect the body from illness or to get rid of the illness in the body and correct the “chi” within the individual. The most common is the use of yin/yang. Some Chinese elders will avoid food that can be considered cold food because of fear that it will throw their body off balance and diminish the harmony.
Meditation and prayer is a form a protection used by the Filipino, Chinese and Asian-Indian Culture. Meditation is most often seen in Chinese and Asian-Indian culture than the Filipino cultures. Religion plays a huge role in cultural beliefs in health protection. Although all cultures believe in different forms of a higher being or power, nonetheless traditional elders of the cultures seek faith as a form of protection from illness and disease. Health restoration among the Filipino, Chinese and Asian-Indian cultures share the similarity of balance.
Just like the focus of health promotion, restoration is also centered around a form of balance, depending on the culture that is being addressed. The Chinese culture use methods of yin/yang and cupping with the use of heated bamboo cups to reduce stress of the mind and body. The Filipino culture uses “heating” which acts as a balancing tool to achieve harmony. Filipino cultures uses healers to aid in removing illness from the body through methods of herbs, prayer and rituals. The Asian- Indian culture also uses elder healers to restore health back into the body.
Since the cultures being compared are all of Asian descent. The cultures show significant similarities as far as the goals they are trying to achieve: promote, maintain and restore health to the body. The balance of all aspects of the body showed grave importance in all cultures. The methods however are different in the sense of rituals that are preformed, the Gods that are prayed to for protection, and the types of herbs that are used to create medicine. The ancient and traditional methods mentioned are practiced and exercised more by the elder generations of the cultures.
As more generations are being born here in the United States it seems as if the rituals and methods of healthcare are becoming fused with western medicine as well. Incorporating was has been passed down from generation to generation as well as things learned from physicians and nurses here, the younger generation of the cultures somewhat pick and choose cultural practices and methods that they feel would best suit the issue that is being experienced. In a situation such as a minor cold is starting to become an issue, the families will use traditional methods such as hot teas, soups or broths to restore the balance.
On the other hand if the issue is too great to be just treated on a traditional level, they will seek medical attention and take the proper medicine to get better. The Conclusion Although the genetic makeups of all the cultures are distinctly different, all the cultures still share similar ties in tradition. The Filipino and Chinese culture share more similarities but knowing the history of the two countries one can see that the Filipino people was taken over by the Chinese for sometime. Thus, their influences are seen in many traditions of the Filipino culture. References
Melen McBride, RN, PhD (1996). HEALTH AND HEALTH CARE OF FILIPINO AMERICAN ELDERS. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www. stanford. edu/group/ethnoger/filipino. html. [Last Accessed 22 February 13]. Linda Ann S. H. Tom, M. D. (1996). Health and Health Care for CHINESE-AMERICAN ELDERS. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www. stanford. edu/group/ethnoger/chinese. html. [Last Accessed 22 Februray 13]. Kannayiram Alagiakrishnan, M. D. (1996). HEALTH AND HEALTH CARE OF ASIAN INDIAN AMERICAN ELDERS. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www. stanford. edu/group/ethnoger/asianindian. html. [Last Accessed 22 Februray 13].
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