There are varying cultural perceptions about pain, death and dying which influence the process of caregiving. As a practicing caregiver, I perceive it essential for medics as well as nurses to develop a sense of cultural sensitivity as a means of fostering beneficial relationships with the sick and their families. Gaining such sensitivity requires practitioners to themselves first understand their cultures, beliefs, and traditions which are essential in overcoming potential biases. Pain results in an unpleasant sensory and emotional feeling which causes a general fear of death. In such a situation, the first step in treatment is ti attenuate the pain using approaches such as painkillers or anesthesia.
In creating care plans, it is vital that physicians appreciate the inherent cultural differences among the sick. For instance, some cultures train patients to perceive dying, suffering and pain as being typical challenges in the contemporary life. I believe that the role of a medical practitioner in such a case remains to administer appropriate medication or provide a suitable healing environment. However, in some instances where diseases and pain are considered as being curses, the role of the caregiver changes from merely treating the presenting condition to influencing the clients perceptions to believe that the medicine to be administered has the potential of alleviating suffering. It is only after this process of sensitization of the patients that the drugs are likely to result in their holistic recovery.
Considering the devastations that come with pain, I realize that it occurs in two forms including physical or emotional. In both cases, it reduces the perceived quality of life. Whenever patients experience pain, their mentality begins to contemplate death as a means of avoiding such suffering. In such instances, the care plan should be reframed in such a way as to affirm to the patient the inherent value of life even with the sickness as well as the ability of elaborate care in reducing such pain. In practice, care plans will first focus on reducing the pain using pain relievers before embarking on a comprehensive treatment.
Death is also variably conceived by patients depending on their cultures. For some, death represents an annihilation of the body and uplifting of the sole to better forms of being. In such a case, care plans are formulated in such a way that incorporates actual patient participation in the care such as adhering to the timing of medication, diet, and exercise. Patients belonging to such cultures are less likely to be shocked by the possibility of death like when diagnosed with terminal sickness. It is necessary for the practitioners to foster cultural collaboration to leverage adverse effects of cultural differences between them and the client. Cultural collaboration entails a partnership between the care provider, the sick and family.
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