GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY
July 12, 2015 "To deliver high quality health care services to an increasingly diverse population, it is vital to be culturally competent. This approach is especially applicable in the United States where a big part of the population consists of immigrants coming from all over the world". (Edelman, Kudzma, & Mandle, 2014). This is where the Heritage Assessment Tool (HAT) becomes very appropriate. It helps when assessing one’s ethnic, religious, and cultural heritage, along with health traditions. By evaluating the heritage assessment questionnaire, healthcare providers can cultivate a therapeutic relationship and approach in care. The following paper will discuss the usefulness of applying the HAT when evaluating three culturally diverse families. The African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and White Origin Americans will be compared to identify the differences in health maintenance, health protection, and health restoration. Lastly, common health traditions and practices will be discussed.
HAT delivers an informative approach that helps to identify the best care that can be provided to culturally diverse populations. "It consists of 29 questions that are focused on identifying a patient’s cultural background, family relations, religious practices, and beliefs along with social support. It helps to highly increase the knowledge of culturally-based health beliefs and practices. By taking time and performing the HAT, the nurse learns about the patient’s culture which enables self-growth experience, and aids in better care for patients with a wide range of cultures" (Saver, 2007). The HAT allows the nurse to learn and understand patients’ individualized views on health and their practices along with the perception of nursing health. Cultural ties are known to directly impact the way one thinks and receives health care services, including but not limited to acceptable health promotion messages, preventative measures in health care along with curative and old-age care services" (Clark, 2002). By taking patients cultural uniqueness into consideration, the nurse can form a positive patient-nurse relationship which will gain mutual respect between the nurse and patient, and will help to promote better care. The HAT helped to identify the similarities and differences between the three families. Some of the components that affect health maintenance among the families are ethnic background with countries of origin, along with the foods that are consumed on a daily basis, activities that are related to a specific culture, such as practicing religion along with maintaining relationship with extended families. Health protection would include practicing folk traditions and superstitions. Health restoring includes practicing a holistic approach that includes home remedies and religious rituals along with special diets.
The families that were interviewed were form the Hispanic, African American, and the Caucasian culture. With these families, there were not very many differences except for the size of the family and how often they would get together.
“Health” can be described as the state of being both physically and mentally vigorous and free from disease (“Health“, n.d.). Health protection is the practices or activities one may use to prevent illness. Amongst cultures, there are differences in beliefs, traditions and practices to protecting health of a specific culture.
The Hispanic family were born in the USA but they do follow some beliefs in that their ancestors believed, such as home remedies. "The Hispanic population has distinct cultural beliefs and customs. Older family members and other relatives are respected and are often consulted on important matters involving health and illness. Fatalistic views are shared by many Hispanic patients who view illness as God’s will or divine