Healthcare professionals should have an understanding of and possess cultural competence. They need to be aware of the differing ethnicities and cultures that are present in their patient population. Cultural competent care requires sensitivity to patients’ heritage, sexual orientation, socioeconomic situation, ethnicity, and cultural background (Ball et al, 2015). The scenario selected for this week’s discussion is of a 23-year-old Native American male who comes to the clinic because he is having anxiety and is seeking assistance. He has been smoking “pot” and says he drinks to help with the anxiety. He is not taking any prescription medications and denies drug use. He is afraid he will not get into Heaven if he continues in this lifestyle. He does have a positive family history of diabetes, hypertension, and alcoholism. Health care providers should strive to provide culturally sensitive healthcare when interacting with patients of all cultures and ethnicities. Culturally sensitive healthcare is described as care that reflects the ability to be appropriately responsive to the attitudes, feelings, or circumstances of groups of people that share a common and distinctive racial, national, religious, linguistic, or cultural heritage (Tucker et al, 2011). This patient’s Native American heritage and religious beliefs should be examined in order to understand the patient’s desire for seeking medical assistance. Religion and spiritual beliefs are an important part of the Native American culture (A.I.R. Policy Center, 2013). One of the major beliefs of many Native Americans and other World religions is the idea that after our death we go to a Heaven (2013). Whether a person goes to Heaven or not directly depends on the life that the person has lived (2013). The patient mentioned the fear of not going to heaven, which is obviously an important aspect of his faith and spirituality. This could be a sensitive subject that needs to be discussed and may impact potential treatment options. Socioeconomic factors associated with the Native American population should be examined. On average, Native Americans are more likely than Whites to be poor, be unemployed, and have a lower level of educational attainment (Espey et al, 2014). Discussing the patient’s health insurance coverage, or lack of coverage, is important when developing a treatment plan. Depending on the extant of the patient’s
alcohol use, especially with a family history of alcoholism, rehabilitation may be necessary. Without prescription drug coverage, this patient may not be able to afford prescribed antianxiety medications.
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- Summer '15
- Native Americans in the United States