Healthcare traditions and cultural heritage
Because of the very fast pace of globalization, the significance of culture related issues seems to have shrunk away from the spotlight of nursing specialists. The resulting lack of awareness concerning the specifics of healthcare traditions within certain communities, and the effect that these traditions have on people’s health leads to deplorable results. It is suggested that a better understanding of cultural heritage and health traditions popular among African Americans, Latin Americans, and European Americans, as well as the analysis of the differences between the three types of health related beliefs, will help supplant the current ineffective approach.
Healthcare traditions in American society
It should be noted that the United States is represented by a variety of communities and cultures; therefore, singling out specific ones for the analysis is quite complicated. Therefore, this study will adumbrate the differences and similarities between some of the most common cultures, i.e., African American, Latin America, and White (European) American families. The research was conducted with the help of the Heritage Assessment Tool (Heritage Assessment Tool, n. d.).
Heritage Assessment of Family A
The first assessment was carried out among the members of an African American family living in Boston, MA. The family lacks economic stability, yet its members (a mother and two sons) are very close to each other.
The assessment of the family has shown that African health traditions are characterized by a very strong emphasis on kinship. The above-mentioned specific enables healthcare specialists to enhance the health restoration with the help of a thorough analysis of the family health record.
The results of the assessment have shown that the given demographics do not have any ethnicity-specific beliefs, which could either hinder certain healthcare services or, on the contrary, promote them. Coupled with a more thorough investigation of the subject matter in academic researches, however, the study has shown that European Americans are more susceptible to persuasion from healthcare authorities and to the fears related to global health threats, such as the Ebola virus, cancer, etc.
Heritage Assessment of Family B
A Latin American family living in Boston, MA, was chosen as a subject for the second assessment. The family consists of seven members (a mother, a father, two sons, the daughters, and a grandmother) and is considered socially active and economically stable.
Much like the representatives of the African American community, the Hispanic family that was questioned on the topic of their health traditions and cultural heritage has shown a significant dependency among the family members on each other. To be more specific, Hispanic people seem to value the opinions of older family members. In addition, the significance of the Catholic faith for the Hispanic people must be mentioned (Torre, 2012).
Because of the emphasis that the Hispanic people put on the decisions made by the older family members, the need to focus on promoting the basic health principles to them is the prior concern for heath protection, health maintenance, and health restoration; otherwise, the information provided by the corresponding healthcare services will look inconclusive to the target audience. This stands in sharp contrast to the European Americans, who do not seem to be restricted by their religious or cultural beliefs when making a health-related choice (Muntaner et al., 2012).
Heritage Assessment of Family C
Finally, the healthcare culture of a family of European Americans living in Boston, MA, was evaluated with the help of the tool in question. The family is represented by a mother, a father, and a daughter, who seem quite distant from each other. The specified phenomenon can be explained by the lack of spare time (the parents have a heavy workload, and the daughter is a college student).
The results of the assessment of the European American family display in a very graphic manner that, in most cases, the health-related choices made by the specified demographics are not influenced by their culture except for the cases when faith (Catholic for the most part) prevents the aforementioned demographics from choosing abortion over bringing up a child in an economically or socially unfavorable environment, etc. More to the point, the survey results indicate that the lack of connection between European American family members as opposed to the close relationships among the members of African American and Latin American families allows White Americans to be more open towards the innovative treatment methods, yet impede the process of a possible intervention (Laher, 2014).
The evaluation has shown that to encourage health maintenance among the target population, healthcare services will have to make access to the required information as easy as possible. More importantly, the significance of certain health issues needs to be reminded of the aforementioned demographic. Seeing that the latter have a rather weak connection to the family members, the health promotion campaign should be conducted with the help of modern media so that each patient could access the necessary data individually (Leeuw, 2012).
Health Traditions and Their Effect on Health Status in Various Cultures
As the analysis of the cultural specifics provided above has shown, in order to provide the representatives of the European America, African American, and Latin American heritage with the healthcare assistance that they require, the local healthcare services will have to take two key actions, First, a massive health awareness campaign must be organized so that the members of the aforementioned cultures could be able to address healthcare professionals and receive their help in case of an emergency.
The next step towards improving the quality of healthcare presupposes that the employees of the corresponding healthcare facilities should be aware of the ways in which the cultural heritage of the members of specific communities alter their perception of healthcare. Much like the previous issue, the given one can be resolved by providing the target audience with the resources on the topic. To be more specific, healthcare staff needs to be instructed on the methods of promoting certain strategies to the target population so that the instructions could align with the cultural specifics of the demographics.
By equipping the staff with the information about the cultural specifics and the healthcare traditions of the people residing in a certain community, one will be able to improve the quality of the healthcare services in question and bring the rates of disease contraction and development, as well as mortality rates, among the population under analysis, down quite a few notches. An analysis of the surveys carried out among the representatives of African American, Latin American, and European American families have shown that the former two require raising awareness among each and every member of the family, as well as making sure that the patient receives enough support from the family members. As far as the latter is concerned, information availability and probable fait issues are clearly the major concern that can be resolved with an awareness campaign conducted via modern media.
Appendix A: Family A Assessment Results
Appendix B: Family B Assessment Results
Appendix C: Family C Assessment Results
Heritage Assessment Tool. (n. d.). Pearson Education. Web.
Laher, S. (2014). An overview of illness conceptualizations in African, Hindu, and Islamic traditions: towards cultural competence. South African Journal of Psychology, 44(2), 191–204.
Leeuw, E. (2012). Do healthy cities work? A logic of method for assessing impact and outcome of healthy cities. Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 89(2), 217–231.
Muntaner, C., Rocha, K. B., Borrell, C., Vallebuona, C, Ibanez, C. & Benach, J. (2012). Social class and health in Latin America. Pan American Journal of Public Health, 31(2), p. 166–177.
Torre, d. L. M. A. (2012). Hispanic American religious cultures: N-Y. Essays. Christology. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.