The patient I was assigned is a 60-year-old male of Indian descent living in India.
The patient I was assigned is a 60-year-old male of Indian descent living in India. The socioeconomic factors associated with this patient include:
- A high poverty rate.
- Limited access to healthcare services.
- The low status afforded to women in the community.
In addition, many spiritual beliefs may impact the patient’s healthcare decisions. For example, many Indians believe illness is caused by divine punishment, not environmental or social factors. This means that patients may be less likely to seek medical treatment if they feel it is unnecessary or fear being blamed for their illness. Furthermore, lifestyle choices can also greatly influence health outcomes in India; for instance, many Indians follow traditional diets of rice and vegetables, which may be low in essential nutrients.
When interacting with this patient, he must be respectful and sensitive to his cultural background. It is also essential to avoid making assumptions about the patient’s beliefs or lifestyle choices and instead ask open-ended questions that allow him to express himself. Some specific questions I could ask include: What kind of traditional meals do you eat daily? Are there any spiritual practices you follow for your health? How often do you access healthcare services, if at all? Do you feel your gender has ever posed any challenges when accessing healthcare services? Is there anything particularly relevant to your health that I need to know?
By asking these questions and listening to the patient’s responses, I can build a complete health history that considers his cultural and lifestyle factors. Ultimately, this will help me provide better care for the patient by ensuring that all of his needs are considered.
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).
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.
Be sure to review the Learning Resources before completing this activity.
Click the weekly resources link to access the resources.
Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Seidel’s guide to physical examination: An interprofessional approach (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
- Chapter 2, “Cultural Competency”
This chapter highlights the importance of cultural awareness when conducting health assessments. The authors explore the impact of culture on health beliefs and practices.
- Dains, J. E., Baumann, L. C., & Scheibel, P. (2019). Advanced health assessment and clinical diagnosis in primary care (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
Credit Line: Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Diagnosis in Primary Care, 6th Edition by Dains, J.E., Baumann, L. C., & Scheibel, P. Copyright 2019 by Mosby. Reprinted by permission of Mosby via the Copyright Clearance Center.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, October 21). Cultural competence in health and human services Links to an external site.. Retrieved from https://npin.cdc.gov/pages/cultural-competence
This website discusses cultural competence as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Understanding the difference between cultural competence, awareness, and sensitivity can be obtained on this website.
- United States Department of Human & Health Services. Office of Minority Health. (n.d.). A physician’s practical guide to culturally competent care Links to an external site.. Retrieved June 10, 2019, from https://cccm.thinkculturalhealth.hhs.gov/
From the Office of Minority Health, this website offers CME and CEU credit and equips healthcare professionals with awareness, knowledge, and skills to better treat the increasingly diverse U.S. population they serve.
- Coleman, D. E. (2019). Evidence based nursing practice: The challenges of health care and cultural diversity Links to an external site.. Journal of Hospital Librarianship, 19(4), 330–338. https://doi.org/10.1080/15323269.2019.1661734
- Young, S., & Guo, K. L. (2016). Cultural diversity training Links to an external site.. The Health Care Manager, 35(2), 94–102. https://doi.org/10.1097/hcm.0000000000000100