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Transcultural Health Care - Essay Example

3 pages
657 words
George Washington University
Type of paper: 
Literature review
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Medical practitioner whether nurses or doctors need to acquire knowledge on some of the cultural practices that people tend to engage in. Even in a world where modernization seems to have taken people by storm, there are some communities that are yet to embrace the wonders of modern medicine or the health care services provided by their governments. Understanding some of the cultural practices that can be incorporated in modern health care can go a long way in helping a nurse tend to her or his patient effectively without having to conflict with their beliefs (Purnell, 2013). As much as health care is right for every human being, people cannot be forced to seek medical attention while they prefer the ancient forms of medicine practiced by their communities. Through cultural beliefs of communities such as Jews, Amish, Alaska Native, and American Indians, Dayer-Berenson has helped put into perspective how such beliefs can influence provision of health care through his article Cultural competencies for nurses.

According to the article one of the areas that cultural beliefs and modern healthcare conflict on are birth control and family planning. For instance, in communities such as the Amish and American Indians, they do not believe in practicing birth control, and women are not allowed to have abortions even when a pregnancy is life-threatening. As nurse one needs to understand such believes if he or she is to guide an Amish family in embracing health care practices such as parental care. Such stands have led to government excluding some of these communities from the health insurance and social security since as much as health care is a right, people cannot be forced to abandon their cultural beliefs (Dayer-Berenson, 2013). Skepticism when it comes to health care practices that touch the very fabric of most societies such as family is not only restricted to Amish people but most communities across the world including the Jews and the native Alaska as well who adhere to their religious teachings. With the type of research discussed in this article, a nurse can acquire an understanding of some of the religion and cultural practices that certain people adhere which can guide him or her in brokering a comprise that can provide effective health care to a patient.

The other aspect is that some of the cultural and religious beliefs from the communities mentioned above do not agree to the immunization of children. In a community such as the Native Alaska and America Indian, where they have been dependent on traditional healers for centuries, they are not keen in participating in health education programs which require taking their children to clinics for immunization. The best example of such ignorance to health education would be that in the Amish community, only about 25% of the entire children population has received immunization against diseases (Dayer-Berenson, 2013). With such statistics, a nurse or any medical practitioner has to understand the reasons behind such tough stands where it comes to seeking health care which begins by exploring their beliefs. Some of these communities do not focus much on basic education either, and a nurse who knows such facts will provide health instructions with the simplest language possible. A medical practitioner without the knowledge on some of these religious and cultural beliefs might consider a patient as difficult whereas they are just trying to project some of the prejudice that has been instilled in them for years.


Dayer-Berenson, L. (2013). Cultural competencies for nurses. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Retrieved from =Dayer-Berenson,+L.+(2013).+Cultural+competencies+for+nurses.+Jones+%26+Bartlett+Publishers.&ots=M7Th3u8wt_&sig=cOkn6vULtxbn-zRXBtKFB38QjJw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Dayer-Berenson%2C%20L.%20(2013).%20Cultural%20competencies%20for%20nurses.%20Jones%20%26%20Bartlett%20Publishers.&f=falsePurnell, L., (2013) Transcultural healthcare: A culturally competent approach (4th ed.). Philadelphia: F. A. Davis

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