Culture Heritage Assessment Essay

1849 words - 8 pages

Culture, Heritage & Health
Culture & Cultural Competency in Health Promotion

Culture, Heritage & Health
This paper will discuss culture and the cultural characteristics that can be associated with various groups and the affect it can have on one’s health in aspects of health protection, maintenance and restoration. It will also discuss the usefulness of a heritage assessment tool in providing better care for patients. The differences will be viewed based on culture in health protection, maintenance and restoration.
A heritage assessment tool is a means to capture a snapshot view of one’s culture/heritage. Culture is defined as “an element of ethnicity, consists of ...view middle of the document...

Lastly is a biological variation which refers to the biological makeup of a certain heritage. (Giger & Davidhizar, 2002)
It is becoming more prominent in nursing education that there is time devoted to educating nurses on the importance of being culturally aware and how to institute it into their everyday practice of providing care to an ever-evolving culturally diverse community. Mosby, who is a large publisher of “pocket” books for nurses (quick reference books that can be carried in your pocket) even, has a book for cultural assessment. Studies show that patient’s have better outcomes when they are valued for their beliefs and that these are incorporated into their plan of care.
The heritage assessment tool from Prenhall provided us a series of questions to assess not only ourselves, but two other families of differing cultures in an attempt to give some insight into the common denominators in patient care across cultural lines and to point out areas that needed to be paid extra attention to based on one’s culture. It is well known that it is an important aspect in healthcare to be culturally competent in your practice, especially as a bedside nurse.
I completed the assessment tool and found that my culture, one that is of European American descent, is a culture that doesn’t have a whole lot of depth to it, at least as far as my family is concerned. My paternal grandparents were third generation Americans and their heritage is a combination of Dutch and German descent. My maternal grandparents are second generation Americans and are of German, Dutch and French heritage. In referencing the lack of depth to my culture growing up, I mean that in the sense that we are truly American in our beliefs, cultures and traditions. We don’t have anything remaining from past generations as far as traditions of my German or Dutch ancestors other than we did celebrate Dutch Christmas on December 5th as we eagerly waited for SinterKlass to come and leave some presents for us (and the belief is, if you leave carrots out for his horses, you were left some “sweets” as well). Sadly, I don’t think this is in homage to my ancestors so much as my father’s military career which had us stationed in the Netherlands for four years.
In doing research on European Americans for this paper, I find that I am not unique in my lack of culture. “European-Americans have never experienced a truly cohesive experience. Instead of one culture and people . . . Caucasian America is simply a loosely associated series of subcultures and non-cultures.” (Stratis Health Culture Care Connection, 2013). Western medicine is favored by this group of people, though there is a surge in the interest of incorporating other beliefs in as well through acupuncture, herbs, massage therapy, etc. Typically our diets consist of the all American diet, one that is high in red meat, salty foods, processed foods, sugary desserts, and often alcohol. European Americans believe in...

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