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Healthcare Disparities as Determinants of Health: Personal Experience

The role of healthcare disparities as the determinants of patient health is not to be underestimated. In fact, this aspect of public health has become the subject of intense interest for researchers and professionals. Reshetnyak et al. (2020) examined the influence of social determinants of health and concluded that their combination entailed a significant increase in the possibility of incident stroke in the population. Accordingly, one of today’s prevailing lethal conditions exists in a direct correlation with healthcare disparities. The list of these disparities includes the factors that are based on the patients’ education, socioeconomic status, gender, and ethnic background.

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My personal experience correlates with these findings, as one of the recent cases shows how such aspects affect people’s ability to live healthier lives. A 52-year-old African American male was hospitalized following a serious heart attack that occurred at his workplace. This man had to have two jobs in order to provide sustenance for his large family. After a conversation with this person, I realized that institutional racism prevented him from obtaining higher education in the 1980s. Afterward, the patient was denied many opportunities to become fully integrated into society. Throughout his life, this man has had to spend most of his time working, which only sufficed to cover his family’s basic needs. Accordingly, he could barely afford medical insurance, thus postponing any hospital visits. Furthermore, as the stress and fatigue accumulated, his cardiovascular system succumbed to the stress, resulting in a heart attack.

From my standpoint, I insisted that he should be more cautious of his personal health and well-being. While he agreed, I could see that the patient did not trust the system. In retrospect, all I could do was provide this man with comfort and explain to him the risks of his stressful lifestyle. Nevertheless, his condition was related to profound racial disparities within society that can only be eliminated through coordinated efforts on the systemic level. If I were to encounter a similar situation again, I would make more effort to communicate this point to my superiors, attempting to reach the decision-makers in charge. Ultimately, I did everything I could to educate the patient, but an individual’s efforts may not suffice to overcome such a deeply embedded issue.

Reference

Reshetnyak, E., Ntamatungiro, M., Pinheiro, L. C., Howard, V. J., Carson, A. P., Martin, K. D. & Safford, M. M. (2020). Impact of multiple social determinants of health on incident stroke. Stroke, 51(8), 2445–2453. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, October 16). Healthcare Disparities as Determinants of Health: Personal Experience. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/healthcare-disparities-as-determinants-of-health-personal-experience/

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StudyCorgi. "Healthcare Disparities as Determinants of Health: Personal Experience." October 16, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/healthcare-disparities-as-determinants-of-health-personal-experience/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Healthcare Disparities as Determinants of Health: Personal Experience." October 16, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/healthcare-disparities-as-determinants-of-health-personal-experience/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Healthcare Disparities as Determinants of Health: Personal Experience'. 16 October.

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