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The Value Of A Heritage Assessment For Health Promotion Of Families

1693 words - 7 pages

The United States is a country of diversity represented by many different cultures. It has been proven that culture has a significant impact on health beliefs and behaviors (Edelman, et al, 2014), therefore it is imperative that health care providers, especially nurses, be culturally competent in their delivery of care. It is not enough to merely be aware of the prominent origins and statistics of different cultures and ethnicities, but rather it is crucial to be inquisitive and focus on the family and individual as practices differ and evolve over time. Rachel Spector developed a Heritage Assessment interview as a useful tool to aid in understanding how strongly an individual or family ...view middle of the document...

When utilizing the heritage assessment tool, the number of positive responses is equal to the number of negative responses which essentially means this individual still identifies with her culture and traditions but has also become acculturated to modern practices of this country as well. During her childhood the interviewee recollects that her family would always attempt an herbal remedy prior to seeking medical attention. She grew up in a very religious atmosphere and trust was placed in God to make the ill healthy again. In childhood, this individual does not recollect being taught about a well-balanced diet and the family mostly ate whatever they wanted. Fruits and vegetables were not often incorporated into the diet. She asserts that the viewpoint of her culture is that your baby is only healthy if he or she appears fat. This individual still subscribes to the tradition of using teas and herbal remedies and points to a more holistic view of healing when it comes to health restoration. She states she is mildly religious but does not turn to a higher power for healing. She is diligent about teaching her children about a well-balanced diet and daily exercise. Sodas and sugary drinks are limited and all family members have an annual physical exam with immunizations up to date. This individual also appears to be the primary decision-maker of the household. She asserts that her family is not traditional largely because of her pursuit of advanced education. Her recollection of family health practices is in alignment with other findings in literature such as the use of garlic for hypertension, peppermint for colic, and aloe vera juice for diabetes (Burnette, et al, 2010). The Hispanic culture is known for strong connections with extended family and the needs of the family are usually placed before those of an individual (Yehieli, M. & Grey, M.A, 2005). This is notable in this particular family as well as the mother often places the needs of her children and extended family members above her own.
African-American Family
The second individual interviewed is a 25 year-old single African-American female born and raised in California. Both her parents were born in this country and English is the primary language. Utilizing the heritage assessment tool, one can deduce that she has a relatively strong identification with traditional heritage. Although she is not in contact with her grandparents, she has a strong base of nuclear family support and asserts that the family will always seek family guidance and support before making critical decisions, including those about health care. Her family mostly utilizes traditional Western remedies rather than natural or herbal remedies, however preventive care is not often sought until an illness or symptoms become more intense. Prayer and religious practice are very important to this family and regarded as crucial for positive health outcomes and recovery. The interviewee asserts that she...

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