Heritage Assessment Tool Essay

Words: 1216
Pages: 5

Heritage Assessment Tool: Varying Cultures

Grand Canyon University: NRS 429V

Heritage Assessment Tool: Varying Cultures
The Heritage Assessment Tool is designed to “give nurses an understanding of the patient’s traditional health and illness beliefs and practices so that culturally appropriate interventions can be initiated. The tool is a series of twenty nine questions. These twenty nine questions are designed to determine a patient’s ethnic, cultural, and religious background,” (Flowers, D.L., 2005). Within this paper, the author will summarize the assessment results of three different families, all varying in ethnic backgrounds and culture. These results will then be used to elaborate on how a nurse would
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Cultural beliefs of the American Indian community, relate to health, as well as illness. They believe that healing ceremonies or certain rituals restore balance when one is ill. “These rituals and healing ceremonies may be carried out by the medicine men or women, who are believed to have hypnotic powers, the gift of mind reading, and expertise in concocting drugs, medicine, and poisons,” (Edelman & Mandle, 2010). Another common belief among American Indians is that, “an individual’s state of health exists when a person lives in harmony with nature, and illnesses occur when there is an imbalance between the ill person and natural or supernatural forces,” (Edelman & Mandle, 2010).
When it came to the Caucasian/German family, they had a different cultural belief. They believed that youth and invincibility were what was behind health prevention. “Protecting against disease or illness does not factor into their (the youthful) everyday lives. In their opinion, illness is distant and insubstantial, and inconceivable to their young strong bodies and therefore irrelevant,” (Meir et al., 2010). It is common belief among the youthful that they have the ability to bounce back from anything and everything. It is important for nurses to know how each patient views health and their understanding of what health and illness involves. It is also important to understand each individual’s beliefs that they associate with preventing illness and