Heritage Culture Assessment Assignment

My communication skills during the Heritage Assessment made the interviewee feel comfortable, trusting of me and have confidence that I was listening to what they had to say. I introduced myself, the capacity in which I was speaking with her and the details of assignment at hand. I also asked permission to record her answers and that her answers would not be used for any other purposes but this assignment.

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The atmosphere was relaxed, so I made sure the pacing was adequate as to not make the person get bored but enough time to answer the questions fully without interruption. The clarity of the questions I was asking made it that the person did not have to ask me to repeat the question. My position of my body, straight with no arms or legs crossed and the tone of my voice along with a smile and a few nods gave me credibility. My techniques opened up the door to a relaxed, open-ended and sometimes a few laughs assessment.

The interviewee’s mother and father were born and raised in the State of Ohio, along with her grandparents and great-grandparents. She does believe that her great-grandparents came over from Ireland at a very young age. The interviewee has memories of her great-grandfather telling her that their name was changed when they came over to America but she does not recall the exact name. When she was younger, she grew up in a house with her parents, her maternal grandparents, two brothers and two sisters. The area was rural and mostly farm country at that time. The neighborhood was close knit but there were sometimes at least a half-mile between houses. They all seemed to have the same philosophy, which was family, farm and the American way. The family did not often visit outside family due the responsibility of the farm and there was little family outside of Ohio. When she married, she moved into an urban setting and lost contact with most of her family even extended. She continues her religious preference of Protestant, along with her husband; perform quiet services at home on Friday evening and Sunday morning. In the past, they would attend a religious institution with family and friends but due to the extent of her rheumatoid arthritis, her pain is sometimes too much. Her children and grandchildren still attend the same church, live close by to visit after service and attend every religious holiday. The holidays are traditional in the food preparation, except for St. Patrick’s Day, which is celebrated in more pronounced manner. There is Irish folk music played, green beer and in the past festivals were attended. Both her and her husband speak and read English but they do know some Irish due to taking an online language course several years ago. They plan on a trip to Ireland soon to enjoy their Heritage before moving on to Florida for a permanent stay because of her illness.

The meaning of health to this person was one I believe falls into the Holistic Belief Model. She stated, “Health to her is being able to maintain a quality of life I deserve to live, not what a doctor or someone else tells me to live. I include a mindful approach to mind, soul and body. If I can keep those three things balanced and somewhat strong then I realize that I am on the pathway of well-being.” This brought a slight tear to my eyes because this positivity was coming from a person who has rheumatoid arthritis and as of late it has been debilitating to her.

The resources available to individuals who are language challenged are according to my research very scarce within the community but are more readily available within educational institutions and hospitals. In the past, technical and career centers offered English as a second language course, there are some churches as well as schools that have tutors in the English language. Hospitals offer interpreters or translators on either staff or on-call. Many of the English Language Programs are primarily online due to the age of technology. In addition, some physicians’ offices and clinics are implementing the picture/image system, thus people can point to the picture of simple assessment questions.

My beliefs, if I am being very honest, are never constant with just one. For example, a few years ago I was all about the scientific/biomedical health system because I was working in the healthcare field. This model made me feel more confident because I worked and was familiar with these beliefs and practices. This past year, I immersed in the holistic belief system. I started to do yoga, plant-based diet and all natural supplements. Even my thyroid medication which I must take for my cancer and absence of a thyroid is the most natural they have on the market. I feel that my holistic beliefs fall primary with the belief model of the Native Americans, in regards to being in harmony with nature, surviving under difficult circumstances and trying to treat my body with respect. The contrast to the beliefs is the belief that my illness is due to evil and/or an action that should not have been performed. My illnesses particularly my cancer is a result of genetic and not the result of evil, supernatural or anyone else’s hand. The health belief model uses psychological indicators to predict health behaviors and conditions. All three health belief models assumes that a person’s beliefs and attitudes about health behaviors influences their actions just as much as (and sometimes more than) their knowledge of the consequences of these behaviors. In my opinion, health belief models can help explain why people at times pursue high-risk health behaviors even though in their mind they understand the potential negative impact of those behaviors.

The days when insurance paid for the lion’s share of medical expenses are in the past. There is growing recognition that financial burden can have a negative impact on a patient’s health, and that physician and their staff cannot always help relieve that burden. Patients very often go without needed medical care because they could not afford tests, treatments, follow-up care, or even prescription drugs. It causes them to weigh out thoughtfully their choice of doctor, even if it is necessary to their well-being. The cost of healthcare, rising deductibles and the scare tactics that healthcare facilities are using to collect their money speaks loudly of the lost art of caring for the patient. The ways in which Americans sacrifice to pay for health care obscure the impact of health care cost growth on the finances of American families. I know personally as a patient myself that health care cost growth has consumed a large share of our disposable income. Heavy spending on government health care programs is also adding to the federal budget deficit. These eye-opening facts provide further evidence that decreasing the cost of health care is one of the challenges of our time. Primarily, the nursing profession focuses on providing high-quality patient care. Many nurses may not be aware of the role they play in their healthcare organization’s bottom line, but the truth is that nurses are key to cost-conscious care. For example, nurses make up the highest percentage of healthcare workers in hospitals and other healthcare settings, so their salaries make up a large percentage of the budget. Healthcare organizations need to be cost-conscious and look for ways to save money without sacrificing patient care. Hospitals that find ways to reduce costs are more financially solvent and thus more stable. This financial stability allows them to continue providing high-quality services and nursing care to patients. With declining healthcare reimbursement and growing numbers of patients unable to pay for their health care, nurses are expected to do more with less. Meeting this challenge will take innovative thinking and involvement of all staff. The business of caring is perhaps more important today than ever. As nurses our involvement, interest, and support can help ensure patients receive high-quality care, and can go a long way toward promoting the hospitals or whatever facility you start your journey in a healthy financial future and continued high quality of care to the patients.

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