Southeast Missouri Hospital College of Nursing & Health Sciences
In the United States healthcare workers are constantly around people of different cultures and have to care not only to the health needs but also the spiritual needs of those individuals. Different cultures view healthcare differently. Different views on healthcare can include diet, healthcare treatment, birth and death rituals. All cultures including Hinduism, Judaism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Amish, Muslim, Native American, Jehovah’s Witness and Atheism/Agnostic beliefs have different views.
According to Ehman (2012), Hindus are usually strict vegetarians. This is an important consideration when helping make dietary decisions for the patients’ meals. Also careful considerations should be made with medications that could be made with animal products. Hindus also often practice the act of fasting. Fasting can include fasting from not only food but also from medications or medical treatments. Hindus find it very important to wash their hands following every meal.
Hindus are very modest people and only want to receive medical care from healthcare professionals of the same sex. Hindus will not discuss genital or urinary concerns with their spouse present. Jewelry and adornments are very important to those of Hindu religion. Consideration of this importance is necessary when the patient may be going for a procedure or surgery. During death, according to Ehman (2012), Hindus have a strong desire to “transition” in their own home other than the hospital. After death a Hindu family may wish to bathe the deceased instead of letting a healthcare professional bathe the deceased. Those of Hindu religion also require a member of the family to be with the deceased body constantly. This ritual could require a member of the family to follow the body to the morgue.
According to (“Healthcare,”n.d.) it is important in the religion of Judaism for them to follow a kosher diet, which may vary between individuals. Judaist will avoid pork and shellfish and will enforce the importance of their diet being kosher. Kosher diets are prepared and served with special attention to separate meat and dairy products.
Judaists view their healthcare very differently in aspect to their Sabbath. The Sabbath is very sacred to Judaists and is celebrated from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. Some patients may refuse healthcare during this time. Women are very modest and may prefer a female healthcare provider to care for them. Euthanasia is forbidden in the Judaist religion.
A very common religion here in the United States is Catholicism. It is important to understand this religion since it is so prominent and you will likely care for an individual from this religion during your career. As found in (“Health Care,”n.d.) Catholics find it important to partake of the sacrament of Holy Communion. Catholics may request communion prior to a procedure or if death in looming. Catholics also view life itself as a gift from God, which means they will not participate in actions that will destroy life, such as use of artificial birth control methods. According to Ehman (2012) Catholic patients may request to keep a rosary with them at all times. Catholics use the rosary in some of their prayers.
Catholics follow certain fasting rituals during the season of Lent. Lent starts on Ash Wednesday and goes through Easter. Catholics will fast all day on Ash Wednesday and on every Friday from Ash Wednesday until Easter. Catholics will only consume one average sized meal during this fast, usually dinner. This fasting includes the exemption of meat from the diet. Catholics can consume fish during this fast. Catholics believe that all must be baptized in order to go to heaven. Catholics baptize their children as babies. Catholic patients may ask for a priest to come