Cultural And Societal Influences On Health

As a nurse, you will certainly meet those from a different culture, or with different values or lifestyles than your own. It is important to learn about cultural differences to identify health risk problems for that population. For example, the leading cause of illness for Hispanic Americans has been identified as heart disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, stroke, and diabetes. Social and economic disparities with Native American’s result in higher death rates for infants and unintentional deaths in that population (Edelman, 2014). Your text and HP2020 identify more differences in health outcomes for different cultural, racial, and ethnic groups.

Developing cultural competency in nurses would be one initial method of addressing all of these issues because recognizing a problem and identifying it through appropriate assessment and screening could occur at a primary level of prevention before the problem as happened. This again would occur at the community level and should include stakeholders with ties to the community. For example, specific details for cultural dietary influences related to heart disease and diabetes could be identified, with education provided for healthier, but culturally appropriate options.

The Healthy People 2020 Map-It program planning guide identifies methods to address health issues at the community level and could be used to develop effective educational programs.

QUESTION: For a cultural group different from your own, list three culturally based behaviors that may not promote health, and explain how you would provide respectful health promotion education to that cultural group.

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