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Culture and Spiritual Care of Mexican Americans, Research Paper Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1251

Research Paper

Identify a cultural group.

Culturally and spiritually diverse cultures are not always understanding of and receptive to traditional healthcare practices and objectives. It is important for members of these cultures to maintain their own specific spiritual identities, while also recognizing the important developments that are required to maintain a healthy population. Some cultures possess values and beliefs that may conflict with traditional healthcare practices. Therefore, it is important for cultural sensitivity to be recognized and to achieve optimal healthcare practices. With this perspective in mind, some cultures may recognize privacy as one of their key priorities, and therefore, they are unwilling to commit to required healthcare procedures and tests in the desired manner. This is a conflict that is difficult to ignore, and also demonstrates that nurses and other healthcare providers must be effectively trained in providing the level of response that is necessary to achieve these objectives in a successful manner. These objectives will go a long way in striking a balance between current healthcare practices and the preservation of cultural customs and identities. As a result, it is believed that “competent nursing practice must include being able to negotiate care in an encounter where at least some of the beliefs, values, attitudes and experiences of the nurse and patient differ (Tseng and Streltzer, 2008). These actions are likely to positively impact cultures, rather than hinder their progress (Tseng and Streltzer, 2008). Mexican Americans possess a number of steadfast beliefs regarding social issues, such as abortion. The preservation of life is likely to be effective in supporting their cultural ideals and expectations. Mexican Americans represent an important yet challenging culture for which healthcare services are critical and necessary across all age groups. Their specific healthcare requirements overlap some other cultures; however, they also possess a number of specific needs that must be addressed within the context of their cultural framework and customary practices.

Discuss the health beliefs and health practices of the selected group.

Mexican Americans possess a number of important cultural beliefs that have established the tone for healthcare needs and expectations. This group of people may often rely upon natural healing or other practices rather than seeking out more traditional healthcare practices. The Mexican American population represents a number of important cultural identifiers and expectations that are based upon tradition and language identity; therefore, it is important for federal agencies to exercise sensitivity regarding these needs, and to shape the healthcare environment in such a way that Mexican Americans receive the care and attention that aligns with their values and beliefs. Much of this belief system is grounded in a strong Catholic faith, and the culture as a whole does not consider thinness to be a healthy attribute (Cultural Diversity, 2012). In addition, this population group values their privacy and does not favor intrusion by healthcare providers unless it is absolutely necessary (Cultural Diversity, 2012). The practices of Mexican Americans demonstrates that their perspectives regarding healthcare are based upon home and family matters above all else (Cultural Diversity, 2012).

Discuss a health practice from the cultural group you have researched which may conflict with the dominant American health care system.

The modern Mexican American population faces a number of critical challenges due to its traditional cultural beliefs and practices, some of which may conflict with traditional healthcare benefits and practices within the United States. For example, a large number of Mexican Americans depend upon holistic or natural healing practices that are grounded in their spiritual beliefs, rather than to seek out traditional healthcare providers to diagnose and offer potential solutions to health problems. This practice may lead this group of individuals to face difficulties when these natural or spiritual solutions are unsuccessful in treating a given problem. This creates a potentially significant divide between the benefits of these practices and how traditional healthcare practices might benefit this group. As a result, it is important for Mexican Americans to recognize that traditional healthcare offerings may provide important benefits that are not realized when adopting natural, holistic, or spiritual practices. It is sometimes best to allow the traditional healthcare system to perform its duties to achieve greater results.

Discuss solutions to this conflict.

It is important for healthcare organizations to recognize the needs of diverse cultures to obtain services that will meet their spiritual and cultural needs accordingly (Betancourt et.al, 2003). However, in some cases, the spiritual beliefs and values of some cultures may conflict with how healthcare services are provided to them. For example, it is necessary for organizations to recognize that some cultures, such as the Mexican American culture, value privacy and their faith above some healthcare services. Therefore, a compromise must be established that will encourage these individuals to receive care without contradicting their values. This is a complex situation to consider, yet it is a way of life for Mexican Americans that must be addressed in a variety of healthcare environments. A variety of healthcare providers at different levels may be effective contributors in supporting the needs of the Mexican American population.  However, they must remain sensitive to the needs of this population and their traditional beliefs. A balance must be established that will encourage this group to seek out traditional healthcare offerings rather than to solely depend on holistic means, particularly when these means have not been entirely effective.

Identify at least 2 nursing interventions which would resolve the conflict.

The development of effective methods of communication amongst members of diverse cultures is particularly relevant in healthcare environments, whereby there are significant factors to consider in the development of cultural awareness and sensitivity to a variety of beliefs and values. There are significant opportunities to explore growth and change within healthcare environments to accommodate the ever-growing diverse population. For example, nurses working with patients from diverse cultures who may experience language barriers must be effectively trained in communicating with these groups, and employ nurses who speak additional languages besides English to encourage greater communication between nurses, patients and families. To support these objectives, the following ideas are proposed: “Given that sociocultural factors are critical to the clinical encounter, “cross-cultural” (often called “cultural competence”) curricula for providers have been developed.80 The overarching goal of these educational and  understand and manage sociocultural issues in the clinical encounter” (Betancourt et.al, 2003, p. 298). Under these circumstances, it is necessary for nurses working in a variety of healthcare settings to take the time that is necessary to clearly communicate ideas and expectations with all patients and their families in such a way that the end users understand these requirements in an effective manner.

To be specific, nurses must exercise the following objectives in order to achieve successful solutions when working with Mexican American patients: 1) Develop an open and honest dialogue with patients without significant language barriers so that these patients understand a given diagnosis and/or how to prevent illness or other healthcare concerns; and 2) To establish frameworks that will lead to preventative measures for this group of patients, which may include preventative screenings or other related practices within concentrated Mexican American communities. Each of these objectives is designed to promote successful change and progress, and to achieve the desired results of improving healthcare outcomes for Mexican Americans of all age groups living in communities throughout the United States.

References

Betancourt, J.R., Green, A.R., Carrillo, J.E., and Ananeh-Firempong, O. (2003). Defining                     cultural competence: a practical framework for addressing racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care. Public Health Reports, 118: 293-302.

Cultural Diversity (2012). The Hispanic American Community. Retrieved from http://www.culturediversity.org/hisp.htm

Tseng, W.S., and Strelzer, J. (2008). Cultural competence in health care. Springer.

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