It should be noted that being culturally competent is particularly important for healthcare workers since they need to provide care that will be holistic. The Heritage Assessment tool is an instrument, which care providers may use to meet the needs of patients with different cultural and ethnic backgrounds more effectively. The purpose of this paper is to apply the tool to Hispanic patients and discuss how it may be used to assess different types of data as applied to this cultural group.
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Heritage Assessment Tool
The tool helps identify a patient’s ethnic, cultural, and religious background and comprehending the views of an individual in terms of health maintenance. In particular, by utilizing the instrument, healthcare workers will be able to understand what health-related traditions and practices the patient supports and what views in terms of health restoration they have and implement in their daily life (Shen, 2015).
The cultural competence of a care provider implies that the specialist understands the context of the patient’s complex situation. In general, the Heritage Assessment instrument may be used to initiate a conversation with the client. In the course of the dialogue, the specialist will gain an understanding of how the patient wishes to be treated and what cultural beliefs should be incorporated in the process of care provision.
The assessment tool is a checklist that consists of 29 questions regarding the healthcare, cultural, and religious beliefs of the patient. Particular attention is given to such an aspect as childhood since it affects the values the client has in adulthood. Moreover, by applying this assessment strategy, providers receive an opportunity to gather data that indicate family health issues and which may be affecting the health status of the client (Shen, 2015).
Apart from that, the set of questions regarding religion allows making general conclusions about the possible health threats from which the individual may potentially suffer. The insights gained will allow designing control measures to address healthcare issues (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2015). Thus, it may be assumed that the tool helps incorporate specific cultural beliefs and practices in the process of care. Moreover, providers receive an opportunity to detect silent factors that may be affecting the well-being of the client and address those in a culturally-sensitive manner.
Discussion of Data
It is important to stress that, as applied to the Heritage Assessment tool, the psychological, spiritual, and physiological data are interconnected, and they should be evaluated in a holistic manner (Clinton, 2014). When interacting with the Hispanic culture, the healthcare specialist may experience a certain degree of anxiety given the fact that the members of this group have a peculiar view of health and health-related practices.
In particular, representatives of this culture do not readily seek aid since they have an indigenous healing system that is closely tied to their spiritual beliefs. Notably, the questionnaire has quite a few questions regarding the religious background of patients; therefore, the healthcare provider needs to seize an opportunity and learn as much information about their patient as possible (Clinton, 2014). Given the fact that religion and customs affect the views of Hispanic patients in terms of health maintenance and disease dramatically, professionals need to incorporate that knowledge in care provision to make it patient-specific and holistic.
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Interestingly, Hispanic people resort to the use of different herbs and oils to heal themselves and often use prayers to cure diseases. Frequently enough, representatives of this culture believe that illness is the result of God’s disapproval of a person’s behavior. These beliefs often lead to the fact that the ill person presents to the healthcare institution when the disease is already at a late stage and when the individual needs intensive therapy (Trangmar & Diaz, 2008). Therefore, when applying the Heritage Assessment tool, specialists need to discuss the religious views of the patient and specify which folk remedies they use to determine the correct course of action.
Another crucial aspect is the assessment of psychological and physiological data. Many Hispanic people believe that their well-being and overall health depend on the balance between hot and cold (Kane, Ouslander, Resnick, & Malone, 2017).
According to their cultural views, there can be hot and cold conditions, and cold diseases are cured using hot medications and the reverse (Trangmar & Diaz, 2008). Therefore, when managing Hispanic patients, it is crucial to determine what views they have in terms of hot and cold conditions and if they have already employed any healing strategy that roots in their culture. Thus, when providing care, specialists need to keep in mind the psychological and religious overtones.
Importantly, the Heritage Assessment tool may potentially provide the nurse with comprehensive social and environmental data on their patient. There are many questions about both immediate family and other relatives of the client, and the questionnaire allows concluding whether the patient has a close relationship with parents, grandparents, and siblings. Also, the tool may provide insights into the environment and setting in which the individual grew up (Weber & Kelley, 2014).
As applied to Hispanic patients, many families pass traditional health-related rituals from generation to generation; therefore, the use of the assessment instrument allows discovering culture-specific treatments he or she finds effective (Newman Giger, 2012). Moreover, if the individual keeps in touch with his or her relatives, they may be able to reveal the family history of diseases.
The questionnaire allows gathering environmental data not only directly but also indirectly. In particular, the nurse may gather such information by analyzing the patient’s answers regarding cultural practices and traditions and their neighborhood. Patients may live in a Hispanic community, belong to a religious institution, or attend events aimed at their culture or ethnicity regularly (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2015). However, it is crucial to interview the person additionally to investigate if he or she is aware of the culture-specific services/resources available to them.
Notably, although the Heritage Assessment questionnaire is quite comprehensive, it does not allow gathering the epidemiological data. The specialist may analyze the answers related to family history and environment; nonetheless, this information will not be illustrative enough. Epidemiological data on Hispanic people in the country allow stating that the most common conditions are diabetes mellitus, parasites, and coccidioidomycosis (McFarland & Wehbe-Alamah, 2018). Therefore, it would be necessary to evaluate independently whether the patient runs the risk of developing such diseases.
Thus, it can be concluded that the Heritage Assessment tool helps evaluate and analyze the health problems of a particular cultural group. Hispanic patients have specific views of the way health should be maintained, and various traditions and rituals are part of their culture. For that reason, healthcare providers need to understand the importance of diversity and employ their cultural competence to deliver patient-centered care.
Clinton, K. (2014). Heritage assessment in nursing. Munich, Germany: GRIN Verlag.
Kane, R. L., Ouslander, J. G., Resnick, B., & Malone, M. L. (2017). Essentials of clinical geriatrics (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill Professional.
McFarland, M. R., & Wehbe-Alamah, H. B. (2018). Leininger’s transcultural nursing: Concepts, theories, research & practice (4th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill Professional.
Newman Giger, J. (2012). Transcultural nursing: Assessment and intervention (6th ed.). London, England: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Shen, Z. (2015). Cultural competence models and cultural competence assessment instruments in nursing: A literature review. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 26(3), 308-321.
Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. (2015). Public health nursing: Population-centered health care in the community (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Trangmar, P., & Diaz, V. A. (2008). Investigating complementary and alternative medicine use in a Spanish-speaking Hispanic community in South Carolina. Annals of Family Medicine, 6(1), S12-S15.
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Weber, J. R., & Kelley, J. H. (2014). Health assessment in nursing (5th ed.). New York, NY: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.