Challenges of Cultural Differences in Medicine

Introduction

The understanding of cultural issues and their relationship with care and help is essential to people who are engaged in social and medical work. Some clients will have particular demands and create difficulties for their caretaker because of their cultural considerations. A person who works with them should be capable of addressing these concerns, preferably without having the patient inform them about general cultural needs. As such, care providers should develop their cultural awareness and prepare to deal with the various situations that can arise during practice. This essay will discuss several issues related to client culture and the associated interactions.

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Challenging Backgrounds

The first group that may be challenging to treat is Native Americans, particularly those who usually reside in reservations. Hill (2014) notes that Latino workers may not understand their circumstances, but the same is potentially valid for other ethnicities, as well. The Native American community has a variety of endemic issues that may not be well known outside the group due to their geographic isolation. As such, a health worker may formulate an inappropriate response due to misunderstanding the origins of the issue. Learning about the history and medical challenges of the Native American community is necessary to address such concerns.

People from disadvantaged communities, particularly African Americans, can present another variety of difficulty. They will sometimes be unable to afford more expensive medical procedures and show general concerns over costs. On the other hand, they may feel discriminated against and provided with subpar treatment if the care provider supplies them exclusively with budget-friendly options. As such, treatment becomes challenging, as the worker has to balance patient well-being, monetary concerns, and a lack of discrimination. Furthermore, this issue will change significantly depending on the specific context, so workers should try to learn the degrees of variations present in the community and try to understand the patients as soon as possible.

Action Skills as Obstacles

Cultural adaptability may become a concern for many helpers, including myself, particularly in regards to spirituality. Religion, or lack thereof, tends to inform many of a person’s fundamental assumptions. As such, when people’s beliefs are poorly compatible, conflicts may arise, which should be avoided in helping environments as much as possible. Workers who frequently interact with people from diverse religious backgrounds should study those religions, but they may struggle to internalize these considerations and apply them unconsciously. As such, it may be a better solution to learn the particular needs of people with various religious backgrounds and try to use the knowledge in other situations.

The need for understanding and its conflict with the beneficial nature of swift action is another concern that may lead to issues in the future. As Hill (2014) states, some clients will prefer quick action on the part of their caretakers and see hesitation as a sign of weakness and unreliability. On the other hand, immediate but misguided efforts can lead to poor outcomes if the worker makes the incorrect decision due to insufficient deliberation. This issue can likely only be resolved as the helper learns during work and gains experience in interactions with various people. In doing so, he or she would find it easier to make decisions based on similar situations from the past and their outcomes.

Client Issues and Challenging Therapy Interactions

The most significant client issue that I struggle to address is the importance of culture in their behavior. According to Hill (2014), helpers sometimes misattribute the influence of ethnicity or other considerations on a person’s expectations and choose an inappropriate method of help as a result. The same is true for me, as the numbers of varying characteristics and the appropriate responses are large and can be overwhelming. Even with a sufficient amount of learning and theoretical knowledge, it can be challenging to remember these considerations and reconcile any conflicts that may arise in practice. Nevertheless, it is necessary to do so to achieve the best results in care and help.

Behavioral rehearsal is a therapy interaction that I find challenging to implement, as it involves finding a delicate balance. Hill (2014) focuses on assertiveness training, where the person learns to stand up for himself or herself in stressful situations. In this case, behavioral therapy involves roleplaying scenarios where the helper shows behaviors the client can imitate in the future. However, I find it challenging to determine the exact approach the person should take, as there are many different responses to any situation. The one I find natural may not be suitable for the client due to personality differences, and I sometimes struggle to act out other ones in a convincing manner.

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Conclusion

An understanding of the client’s cultural and racial background, as well as the concerns associated with them, is critical to a helper. I have identified several areas where I struggle to address the problems that people face. In the future, I will attempt to resolve them by learning about other cultures, religions, and races and obtaining work experience. I will concentrate on the selection of the best intervention based on a person’s characteristics and enacting various roles for behavior rehearsals.

Reference

Hill, C. E. (2014). Helping skills: Facilitating exploration, insight and action (4th ed.) Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

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StudyCorgi. "Challenges of Cultural Differences in Medicine." August 23, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/challenges-of-cultural-differences-in-medicine/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Challenges of Cultural Differences in Medicine." August 23, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/challenges-of-cultural-differences-in-medicine/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Challenges of Cultural Differences in Medicine'. 23 August.

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