Essay: article summary about the hmong and culture

Pages: 4 (1310 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Nursing  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] For one, the financial burden is tremendous, given their mutual belief in the shamanic practices that are also expensive. Second, the Hmong feel that the soul is especially vulnerable overnight. Staying overnight in a hospital can cause deep anxiety, particularly if the patient is not allowed overnight visitors.

Decision making in healthcare is another theme that Johnson (2002) found in the research. The Hmong culture is patriarchal, but it is also a communitarian society. Thus, the patient may have totally different views of patient autonomy than the nurse might have. Johnson (2002) also shows how Hmong patients have experienced the American health care system. Many report positive experiences, but some report the distress of being misunderstood or belittled. Miscommunications were problematic, and the author calls upon nurses to serve as patient advocates for the Hmong and similar populations.

Application to Practice

Although Johnson’s (2002) research focuses on the Hmong, the implications can be extended to other patient populations. It is important to take into account patient background and culture. The background, culture and traditions may also be related to the patient’s knowledge of the human body and is processes. Similarly, patients may not be aware of healthcare issues like how their nutrition or lifestyle impacts their health. Some patients may not understand how drugs work, or how to conceptualize side effects.

Many patients will have superstitious beliefs like the Hmong do. Rather than make fun of these types of beliefs, nurses and other healthcare workers can learn how to unify patient cultural beliefs with modern medicine. Just as nurses welcome their patients to pray, nurses can also welcome their patients from other backgrounds to do whatever makes them confortable. Superstitions are not harmful, and nor are most shamanic practices, so long as those practices coincide with ideal medical care for the patient’s condition. The implications of this research would be to encourage patients to honor their traditions, while also learning about modern medical care and how they can improve health outcomes.

An important lesson to be learned from this research is also related to decision making and patriarchal values. American society is also patriarchal, although not to the extent that some traditional cultures like the Hmong are. It is important to not be judgmental about these types of hierarchies and social norms, but also to not sacrifice universal ethical values and medical ethics like autonomy (Jeffreys, 2016, p. 25). The nurse can understand that the patient wants to make decisions with their family and not just by themselves, but it is also important that the patient is empowered with the ability to make medical decisions. Another one of the most important lessons of this article is that patients may not understand the healthcare worker’s verbal and nonverbal communications. Nurse education is a critical step towards improving cultural competency (Mareno & Hart, 2014). All healthcare workers should endeavor to get their points across in ways that are sensitive to cultural and linguistic differences.

Conclusions

Nurses in the United States and abroad will inevitably work with patients from backgrounds different from their own. Even when an interpreter is present, the nurse might have a hard time communicating because of vastly different worldviews. Worldviews and beliefs about health impact attitudes towards the healthcare system, beliefs about the body and healing, and also the ability to understand a prognosis and course of treatment. When nurses become more aware of cultural differences, they can provide the best quality of care. The Johnson (2002) article shows how important cultural sensitivity is in healthcare.

References

Almutiari, A.F., McCarthy, A. & Gardner, G.E. (2014). Understanding cultural competence in a multicultural nursing workforce. Journal of Transcultural Nursing 26(1): 16-23.

Jeffeys, M.R. (2016). Teaching Cultural Competence in Nursing and Health Care. New York: Springer.

Johnson, S.K. (2002). Hmong health beliefs and experiences in the western health care system. Journal of Transcultural Nursing 13(2): 126-132.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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