As a nurse, it is important to understand the different socioeconomic, spiritual, lifestyle, and other cultural factors that may affect a patient’s health. The following factors could be related to the health of MR (a 23-year old Native American man):
Socioeconomic MR might face socio-economic disadvantages because he is a Native American. Native Americans are more likely to be poor than other Americans, and have limited healthcare access.
Spiritual: MR’s concern about getting into heaven suggests a strong spiritual belief system. You should respect and understand his views and make sure that all treatment plans reflect his values.
Lifestyle: MR’s use of marijuana and alcohol may be a way of coping with his anxiety. To assess the potential health effects, it is crucial to know how much and how often he uses marijuana.
Other cultural influences: As a Native American MR might have unique cultural practices or beliefs which may influence his health. He might place a high value on community support or traditional healing techniques.
In order to establish trust, you must be sensitive to all of these aspects when interacting. An approach that is non-judgmental as well as culturally sensitive is crucial. To assess MR’s health risks, I would ask the following five targeted questions:
- What is your level of anxiety?
- What is your marijuana/alcohol consumption? What negative health effects have you experienced?
- What are your cultural or traditional beliefs and practices?
- Has your experience with healthcare professionals been positive or bad?
- Do you know of any history in your family of diabetes, high blood pressure, or alcoholism? And have you had these conditions screened before?
In order to communicate with MR effectively, I will use strategies like active listening, plain language and incorporating cultural beliefs in the conversation. To ensure MR receives the highest quality of care, it is essential to build a relationship based on respect and trust.
Referral: Office of Minority Health. (2021). American Indian/Alaska Native Profile. Retrieved from https://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=3&lvlid=62 Simpson, M. (2016). Culturally sensitive nurse care in the 21st century: a challenge. British Journal of Nursing, 25(22), 1253-1258. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2016.25.22.1253