Hispanic Healthcare Needs and Risks

Abstract

Today, the Hispanic population is one of the largest minority groups in America. This paper provides an overview of the healthcare-related challenges Hispanics may encounter, the problems associated with their cultural background, and the needs they have. The report features a literature review that offers recent findings in the field. The paper provides information about the risks this population has, including obesity and hypertension, and the potential causes of them. Moreover, the report connects the findings of the literature review with the possible implications for nursing practice, discussing the actions care providers should take to meet the healthcare needs of Hispanic patients.

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Introduction

Delivering culturally competent care is highly vital for all healthcare professionals, as many minority groups encounter challenges related to medical services or have decreased well-being. This paper aims at addressing this issue from the perspective of the Hispanic population. The report provides background information on Hispanics and the challenges affecting their health. The paper features a literature review that addresses the healthcare needs this group of the population has. The report concludes that nurses should advocate for these minorities’ access to care and well-being, as well as prevent the diseases they are likely to develop.

Background Information

As mentioned above, the cultural group selected for this paper is the individuals of Hispanic background. This group of the population was chosen because it is the largest ethnic and racial minority in America, with more than 55 million living in the country (Rodríguez-Lainz, McDonald, Penman-Aguilar, & Barrett, 2016). People of Hispanic origin are affected by several problematic issues, including poor living conditions and other social detriments of health. Thus, it is vital to understand whether these minorities have specific healthcare needs.

Purpose and Research Method

The purpose of this report is to analyze the healthcare needs the Hispanic population has. This goal is vital, as the findings of the paper may be used to guide nursing practice and help healthcare professionals in delivering culturally competent care. The research method utilized for this paper is a literature review designed to evaluate the existing body of studies in the field and synthesize the information they provide.

Review of Literature

Research in the field reveals that there are several health-related issues the Hispanic population encounters. For instance, they include the lack of analysis and reporting of health data in public health information systems (Rodríguez-Lainz et al., 2016).

Moreover, the health state of individuals of Hispanic background is affected by their cultural values, level of income and education, occupation, and social support systems. For instance, Hispanics living in the U.S. are four times more likely not to have finished high school than other cultural groups (Velasco-Mondragon, Jimenez, Palladino-Davis, Davis, & Escamilla-Cejudo, 2016). Moreover, many of them may have decreased proficiency in English compared to non-Hispanic populations. Therefore, many representatives of this group lack access to health care.

The issues presented above make individuals of Hispanic background vulnerable to diseases and unhealthy behaviors. For instance, they are at high risk of tobacco use, high alcohol intake, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension (Brown, Vasquez, Salinas, Tang, & Balcázar, 2018). Moreover, some of the leading causes of death among this group of the population are heart disease and cancer, which means that it is vital to prevent these conditions among Hispanics, too. Notably, Hispanic individuals born outside the U.S. are at a higher risk for health-related issues that those not born to immigrant parents. For instance, they are more likely to be overweight and have hypertension (Velasco-Mondragon et al., 2016).

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This issue may also be the result of the reduced access to healthcare for minorities living in the U.S. It is notable that the problem of obesity is multifaceted and is caused by the combination of several significant factors. For instance, in America, food advertisements for Hispanics promote unhealthy, low-nutrient, and calorie-dense products (Velasco-Mondragon et al., 2016). This problem is especially acute because this group of minorities is at risk of glucose intolerance and gestational diabetes.

It is crucial to add that there are inequalities related to individuals’ general well-being among this group of the population. For example, Hispanic women have higher health risks due to the lower median income and educational attainment; moreover, they are exposed to violence and unfair paid labor (Velasco-Mondragon et al., 2016). As a result, the female Hispanic population may experience depression and sexual risk behaviors, along with higher morbidity and mortality. Moreover, Hispanic women are more vulnerable to mistreatment and abuse than their male counterparts (Velasco-Mondragon et al., 2016). This factor may also result in a decreased level of well-being among female Hispanics.

In summary, it is possible to say that the healthcare needs Hispanic individuals have include access to healthcare and prevention services, especially for diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Moreover, a major part of this minority group, especially women, needs access to mental health services due to the challenges they are likely to encounter. The implications this information has for nursing practice will be discussed in detail below.

Implications for Nursing Practice

There are several implications of the outlined healthcare needs the Hispanic population has. First, it is vital for medical professionals to aim at preventing the prevalence of the mentioned conditions in this minority group. For instance, nurses should evaluate their patients’ risks for obesity and hypertension, providing recommendations for nutrition and diet. They should increase individuals’ awareness about the risks they may have and the behaviors associated with them, including tobacco and alcohol use (Velasco-Mondragon et al., 2016).

Second, it is crucial for nurses to advocate for minority groups and their needs. They should discuss the lack of access to care among Hispanic individuals and the consequences it may have, including decreased health state. Nurses should address the conditions they observe in this group of the population publicly and convey the significance of access to medical services to local and organizational authorities. Finally, it is crucial for care providers to educate themselves on healthcare-related challenges minorities may encounter due to their cultural background, including the language barrier. They should develop strategies aimed at overcoming these problems to ensure that all patients have an equal opportunity to receive high-quality care.

Conclusion

The individuals of Hispanic background represent one of the largest minority groups in the U.S. They are at risk of developing obesity, heart diseases, hypertension, and cancer, along with a higher chance of alcohol and tobacco abuse. This group of the population needs increased access to healthcare services, including preventive ones. Nurses should evaluate Hispanic patients’ risks and offer solutions, such as appropriate diet, timely, advocate for their rights to have access to medical services and analyze possible healthcare-related barriers and challenges they may have.

References

Brown, L. D., Vasquez, D., Salinas, J. J., Tang, X., & Balcázar, H. (2018). Evaluation of healthy fit: A community health worker model to address Hispanic health disparities. Preventing Chronic Disease, 15. Web.

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Rodríguez-Lainz, A., McDonald, M., Penman-Aguilar, A., & Barrett, D. H. (2016). Getting data right—And righteous to improve Hispanic or Latino health. Journal of Healthcare, Science and the Humanities, 6(3), 60-83.

Velasco-Mondragon, E., Jimenez, A., Palladino-Davis, A. G., Davis, D., & Escamilla-Cejudo, J. A. (2016). Hispanic health in the USA: A scoping review of the literature. Public Health Reviews, 37. Web.

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