North American Culture: Culturally Sensitive Care

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Culture is a very important factor when attempting to adhere to patient centered care. It is very easy to simply ignore the differences that patients may have and treat them all systematically, but doing what is easy will not create a relationship of trust or a caring environment. Although it is the priority of the nurse to care for their patients physically, their mental health should also be of concern. Without some knowledge of a person’s culture, it is impossible to understand them.
Culturally Sensitive Care
A person’s culture is composed of their values, beliefs, language, and actions. A common misconception is that culture is set in stone, when really culture is always changing and broadening. Both internal and external factors can be
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I was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and I have lived here all of my life. I have learned the majority of my culture from my family, friends, and mass media. Every culture, unfortunately, comes with its own biases and assumptions. Some differences of the North American culture include time, informality, equality, and eye contact. People in North America value being on time and using time wisely. Rest is often seen as lazy and wasting time. The language, both verbal and physical, and clothing of North America are very informal compared to that of other countries. Referring to people by their first names and wearing sweatpants to class would be seen as disrespectful in other places. Another area in which North Americans could seem disrespectful is in their beliefs on equality. North Americans value equality greatly and could be uncomfortable in situations where obvious displays of respect are expected, such as bowing or even avoiding eye contact. Eye contact is another significant culture difference. In some cultures, eye contact to women or people of higher status is seen as disrespectful whereas in North America avoiding eye contact is seen as disrespectful. It is also assumed that avoiding eye contact is showing dishonesty or shame. All cultures have different views so it is important to try to be aware of how your words and actions could be perceived by someone …show more content…
People of Haitian culture categorize their foods into six categories: hot, cold, acid, non-acid, heavy, and light. It is thought that keeping these food groups in balance is the way to avoid illness. When people Haitian culture become ill they often blame it on an imbalance and try to treat this with food from the other end of the spectrum to regain balance. For example, it is thought that one cannot eat anything cold after activity that makes them hot. The term chofret is used to describe this imbalance. Often it assumed that the person will develop a cold or pneumonia. Along with balance, the benefits of the food are specific to the times at which they are eaten. Heavy foods are consumed during the day for energy while lights foods are consumed at night because they digest better. Common foods include rice, beans, cashews, tomatoes, avocados, bananas, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, beef, chicken, fish and goat meat (Strickard,