Week Two: Main Discussion Post Cultural competence is a critical skill that healthcare providers (HCP’s) must attain in order to provide care that is effective and patient-centered for individuals from different cultures (Kinsey & Reed, 2015). Recent studies have shown a significant improvement in healthcare compliance and outcomes in American Indian (AI) patients who received culturally competent healthcare that was adapted appropriately for their backgrounds. Mastering cultural competence is a process that develops overtime through learning about the unique characteristics, values, and attitudes of different cultures, understanding the impact of these differences and how to individualize care appropriately (Lillie et al., 2019). Displaying genuine curiosity about the values, spiritual beliefs, and cultural differences of the patient contributes to building a trusting relationship (Ball, Dains, Flynn, Solomon, & Stewart, 2015). The patient in my case study is a 23-year-old Native American (NA) male with a chief complaint of anxiety. He admits to frequent use of marijuana and alcohol to self-medicate and expresses fear that he will not end up in heaven due to his habits and lifestyle. HCP’s who treat NA patients must maintain awareness of the cultural, spiritual, and socioeconomic factors that are common to this group, and have an understanding of how those differences may impact patient perspectives and response to treatment (Ball et al., 2015). The early NA culture strongly emphasized harmony with earth, with others, and harmony within one’s own mind, spirit, and body. A deep respect for family and community is central to NA culture, as the individuals of each tribe viewed themselves as being largely interdependent on one another (Lillie et al., 2019). Spirituality is interwoven throughout almost every aspect of NA culture. In traditional NA culture, spirituality and physical health were thought to be tightly correlated, making it impossible for them to address physical health concerns independently of
spirituality (Kinsey & Reed, 2015). Mental health illness is often viewed as resulting from spiritual imbalance; which is addressed and treated by the highly respected spiritual healers or
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- Summer '15
- Native Americans in the United States, Health care provider