Discussion: Diversity and Health Assessments
In May 2012, Alice Randall wrote an article for The New York Times on the cultural factors that encouraged black women to maintain a weight above what is considered healthy. Randall explained—from her observations and her personal experience as a black woman—that many African-American communities and cultures consider women who are overweight to be more beautiful and desirable than women at a healthier weight. As she put it, “Many black women are fat because we want to be” (Randall, 2012).
Randall’s statements sparked a great deal of controversy and debate; however, they emphasize an underlying reality in the health care field: different populations, cultures, and groups have diverse beliefs and practices that impact their health. Nurses and health care professionals should be aware of this reality and adapt their health assessment techniques and recommendations to accommodate diversity.
In this Discussion, you will consider different socioeconomic, spiritual, lifestyle, and other cultural factors that should be taken into considerations when building a health history for patients with diverse backgrounds.
JC, an at-risk 86-year-old Asian male is physically and financially dependent on his daughter, a single mother who has little time or money for her father’s health needs. He has a hx of hypertension (HTN), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), b12 deficiency, and chronic prostatitis. He currently takes Lisinopril 10mg QD, Prilosec 20mg QD, B12 injections monthly, and Cipro 100mg QD. He comes to you for an annual exam and states “I came for my annual physical exam, but do not want to be a burden to my daughter.”
TJ, a 32-year-old pregnant lesbian, is being seen for an annual physical exam and has been having vaginal discharge. Her pregnancy has been without complication thus far. She has been receiving prenatal care from an obstetrician. She received sperm from a local sperm bank. She is currently taking prenatal vitamins and takes Tylenol over the counter for aches and pains on occasion. She a strong family history of diabetes. Gravida 1; Para 0; Abortions 0.
MR, a 23-year-old Native American male comes in to see you because he has been having anxiety and wants something to help him. He has been smoking “pot” and says he drinks to help him too. He tells you he is afraid that he will not get into Heaven if he continues in this lifestyle. He is not taking any prescriptions medications and denies drug use. He has a positive family history of diabetes, hypertension, and alcoholism.
Reflect on your experiences as a nurse and on the information provided in this week’s Learning Resources on diversity issues in health assessments.
Select one of the three case studies. Reflect on the provided patient information.
Reflect on the specific socioeconomic, spiritual, lifestyle, and other cultural factors related to the health of the patient you selected.
Consider how you would build a health history for the patient. What questions would you ask, and how would you frame them to be sensitive to the patient’s background, lifestyle, and culture? Develop five targeted questions you would ask the patient to build his or her health history and to assess his or her health risks.
Think about the challenges associated with communicating with patients from a variety of specific populations. What strategies can you as a nurse employ to be sensitive to different cultural factors while gathering the pertinent information?
Post an explanation of the specific socioeconomic, spiritual, lifestyle, and other cultural factors associated with the patient you selected. Explain the issues that you would need to be sensitive to when interacting with the patient, and why. Provide at least five targeted questions you would ask the patient to build his or her health history and to assess his or her health risks.