This week we focused some of our learning on the Polynesian culture. Before this week, I knew that the Polynesians were fun-loving and liked having big families. I did a lot of research on the Polynesian culture and common health problems that they face. The most common health problem in this culture is obesity. It is a norm in their culture to be obese. Because of the high rate of obesity, diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and CVD are also very common. Some infectious that are seen often in this culture are tuberculosis, H. pylori infections, and leprosy. Rheumatic fever is also prevalent and is responsible for causing a lot of rheumatic heart disease which usually goes untreated. When I am a nurse, it will be important for me to educate the patient about diet and exercise. It will also be important for me to include the patient’s family in the healthcare process.
This week we learned a lot about the Chinese culture. I didn’t know much about the culture at all. I focused a lot of my research on their culture and healthcare. This culture prefers a holistic approach to healthcare. They believe that diseases and conditions can be caused by an imbalance of yin and yang or by certain foods or medicines. They follow a diet where they eat either “hot” or “cold” foods depending on their health condition. The Chinese culture used a Western medicine approach for acute illnesses and a more traditional and holistic approach for chronic diseases. Some common problems in the Chinese culture are lack of insurance, not understanding Western medicine, and being unable to pay for healthcare. When I become a nurse, it will be important for me to ask about their diet. It will also be important for me to communicate well with the patient and answer any questions they may have.
This week we focused on the Jewish culture. I didn’t know very much about this culture until this week. I just knew that they celebrated Hanukkah and that they were stereo-typically rich. Most of my learning this week was focused on the Jewish culture and healthcare. This culture is against suicide, assisted suicide, and euthanasia. They are very respectful of the human body before and after death. They believe that all means should be used to heal and alleviate suffering. However, they prefer that medical procedures take place on days other than the Sabbath and holidays if they are not necessary for life. Circumcisions usually take place on the eighth day after birth and are performed by a specialist who has received spiritual and medical training on the procedure. I also learned that birth control and autopsies are controversial in their culture and that the patient and their family may want to consult with a rabbi if these topics are involved. When I care for Jewish patients, it will be very important for me to communicate with the patient and their family. It will also be important for me to be respectful of the patient’s schedule and try to work medical procedures around it.
This week we focused on the Native American culture. Before this week I thought that most Native Americans were in bad health, alcoholic, and living off of government money. This week I became very educated and gained more respect for the culture. I focused a lot of my learned on their general problems with healthcare. Native Americans have a much higher infant mortality rate than the general population. They also have one of the highest smoking rates among pregnant mothers. Most of the healthcare problems they experience are related to obesity and lack of physical activity. The leading causes of death are heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injury. Suicide rates among Native Americans are also high and might be related to the high rates of mental disorders and disabilities in the culture. When I am a nurse, it will be important for me to communicate with this culture. Most of the healthcare problems being experienced haven’t been in their culture very long so education will also be very important.
This week we focused on the Deaf culture. I didn’t know that deaf was really considered a culture until I started reading some of the information this week. I learned a lot about healthcare and the deaf population. The number of deaf people in the US is increasing because people are living longer, people are more exposed to loud sounds, and increased screening with newborns. People who use ASL as their primary language are at risk for inadequate assessment, limited access to treatment, insufficient follow-up, and poorer outcomes. Statistics also show that the deaf culture doesn’t use preventative services very often. Because of this, they are more at risk for cardiovascular complications, obesity, anxiety, and depression. This culture is also more at risk for unplanned pregnancies, intimate partner violence, and STIs. This is probably related to lack of education on medical topics and not being able to communicate clearly with healthcare professionals. One of the people in my group shared information on cochlear implants in children. Many deaf parents want their children to get the implants so that they can adjust to and live in the US better. However, the parents are worried that the child won’t be able to learn ASL if they get the implants. From this weeks information, I have learned that it is very important to use a translator if possible. It seems like there are many problems with communication with this culture. It’s also important to make sure that you and your patient understand each other so that no complications occur.
Before studying the information this week, I thought that most homeless people had substance abuse problems and mental disorders. I learned this week that that is not always the case. The movie Pursuit of Happyness gave me some insight into the situations that homeless people face every day. I also realized that sometimes bad things happen to people and they can’t change them no matter how hard they work. I gained much more respect and compassion for this culture this week. I specifically researched the homeless culture and healthcare. It’s really hard for anyone of this culture to have access to healthcare because of money, transportation, insurance, and phones. Many people in this culture don’t seek medical attention until the problem is out of control. I also learned that most of the diseases seen in this culture are chronic and usually not managed well. I will use this information in my nursing career by being respectful and compassionate to people of this culture, listening and trying to understand their situation, and providing the most realistic discharge teaching possible.