Nursing: Somali Community in Minnesota

The national and civil wars have a pervasive effect on the common life of Somali people, which tormented them to an extent. The majority of people are migrated to America, Middle East, and European countries. Civil war leads to their dreadful situation. Under the warlords, the Somali people lead a suffocated life. A large number of people went to the USA for better life and security. The majority of people in Somalia are staunch believers of Islamism. They admit the only god Allah. They strictly follow five-time prayers a day. The Minnesotans believe in God and Satan. They also believe in fate.

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New political changes and social reformations made some changes in the life of the Somali people. These social reforms were helpful for the emergence of a new family system. The influence of western culture especially America is visible in Somalia. It also has been affected their communication process. Their social values are similar to Americans. They keep the values like independence, friendship, Cooperation, and individualism.

According to them, family is the center for personal development and personal security. They develop a healthy family system and they protect the family loyalties extremely. In recent decades Somalis give more importance to education.

Without racial discrimination and nationalism, the people follow a strict and systematized education culture. Abigail F. Castle and Susie Kurata’s comment makes it clear when they rightly put it as: “In addition to the normal stressors involved in going to a new school, a refugee must also deal with learning a new language and a new culture. Here it is clear that there is a gradual development in communication pattern”. (Journey Into the Somali CultureBy Abigail F. Castel & Susie Kurata).

This led the people into a status of literacy. The established pattern of emotional or behavioral responses affects the educational and developmental performances of people. The emergence of the all-University Consortium on children, Youth, and Families at the University of Minnesota made drastic changes in the field of the communication pattern. It includes educational institutions, social service organizations, individual groups, private companies, mass media, religious organizations, and higher education representatives.

One of the most important and notable developments in the field of communication is the Consortium’s Electronic Clearinghouse (CEC) It is an easy way to communicate with people. It paved the way for drastic development in communication. The working of CEC connected with internet, Anyway this electronic world lead the whole nation into the world of knowledge. Even though a large number of Somali students studying in American schools, “most Somali children who are 16 years old or younger have not received any formal schooling”. It really shows the pathetic state of Somalis in the modern world. In each year number of young professionals are created, a large number of people reaches the teaching profession. It provides the chance to spreading knowledge about Somalia into the world.

Both verbal and nonverbal communications are a vital part of communication. Autism (disability to communicate) is a lifelong phenomenon or a developmental disability that prevents the natural growth of verbal and nonverbal communication. It was mainly caused by their inability to communicate socially, educationally, and culturally. In Somalia, the region provides a rare chance for social interactions and leisure activities. At the time of the spreading of educational institutions, a gradual change happens in the field of verbal communication. The emergence of television and other visual media communication has been brought some changes in the social and cultural life of Somali.

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The Somalis follow a traditional healing system that takes away the nursing practices of the modern world. Firstly the traditional healing emerged as a religious practice. ” Although historically, the phenomenon of spiritual healing emerged as a religious practice, within the context of specific religious traditions and has traditionally been ascribed only to mystics, saints and holy persons, in modern times a variety of spiritual healing practices unconnected with traditional religion have entered mainstream professional healthcare. ( Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion: Regulating Potential Abuse of Authority by Spiritual Healers, by Michael H. Cohen © 2002 Journal of Law and Religion, Inc..

The older men of their community were aware of many treatments and they did the roles of “traditional doctors”. They could even treat some kind of infectious diseases, hunch-back, facial droop, and broken bones. They also believe in spirits and thought that spirits reside in human beings. Fever, headache, dizziness, and weakness, etc are the result of the spirit’s temper. For the healing, they suggest the reading of the Koran, special provisions, and burning incense. Somalis are generally superstitious and they believe in the “evil eye”. They don’t like the praising of others because they strongly believe that it will bring an “evil eye” and will ultimately lead to the ruin of the person praised. The mothers don’t like even the doctors commenting about their babies’ weight and fear that it is harmful to their babies.

Most of the Somali women do not depend on hospitals for delivery and generally, it takes place in the home itself. They know the treatments regarding the new mother and the baby. They give enough coaching to their children about neatness from a very young age itself. Circumcision was common in men and women of Somalia before age five. It is connected with their religious belief and regarded as a ritual of passage that is necessary for marriage.

It is considered as part of their hygiene. “Male circumcision may be performed by a traditional doctor or by a medical doctor or nurse in a hospital. Female circumcision is usually performed by female family members but is also available in some hospitals. The most common procedure in Somalia for female circumcision, known as “infibulations,” involves the removal and suturing of most genital tissue, leaving a posterior opening”. They depend on hospitals very rarely for these kinds of treatments and to an extent the nursing aid was unnecessary for them. Moreover, their religious belief often hindered them from depending on the hospitals. They preached many superstitious beliefs that curtailed their contact with Western medicine. But some of the Somalis living in cities were taken to hospitals affected with diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Patients were distributed with antibiotics from the hospitals and oral medication is insisted to children affected with cold.

Somalis in modern times keep a fascination for learning and their interests in studies are increasing day by day. Now they are very much interested in university education and

“A great number of Somalis living in Victoria today hold passionate beliefs about the right to universal education and the value of a University qualification.” (p. 3). It is a welcome attitude found in the Somalis, which may foster their interest in the nursing field in the coming future. The attitude of the Somalis to religion, education, social life, etc has been subjected to slight changes in modern times. But even now they hesitate to come to the forefront of society as well as into the nursing field. Their traditional healing system and their diffidence to hospitals for pregnancy etc are the withdrawing factors of nursing practices in Somalia.

Minnesota nursing schools are not reaching the level of quality institutions. So the state offers new opportunities like online nursing CCNE (commission on collegiate nursing education. These institutions offer better chances for common people. The nursing shortage creates plenty of opportunities for current nurses and potential nurses. It leads to a gradual increasing the demand for home nurses and specialized people for nursing disabled people.

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Racial and political factors create problems to the smooth running of healthcare activities today the majority of people say that a number of diseases are emerging among the children in the Minnesota region. A collaborative program promoted four major universities in Minnesota state named; DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice). This offers advanced clinical, organizational, economic, and leadership knowledge to the students, it promotes evidence-based practice through professional leadership. Childhood obesity was an illness that needs treatment. The attack of chronic diseases also is a barrier to prevention methods.

Lack of patient motivation, effective prevention methods, and the absence of supporting services are the dominating problems in this region. The following comments make clear the above mentioning points:” However, several important barriers interfere with treatment efforts and will need to be addressed. There is also a need for increased training opportunities related to obesity prevention and treatment. The results of this study provide directions and priorities for training, education, and advocacy efforts”. Health organizations also point out that the influence of behavioral management strategies and guidance in parenting techniques are affecting the health care assessment.

Lack of transportation facilities and absence of modern preventive methods and equipment etc are also the withdrawing factors of the health care activities and nursing practices in Somali. To conclude it is inferred that the impacts of nursing practices in Somali and Minnesota are not so higher. The people of Somali are religious and they are incapable of retaliating against the superstitious beliefs that are deep-rooted in them. Though they live in a post-modern era, they preach old customs and traditions and are sticking to their own methods of treatment. The modern methods of treatment are to an extent exile to them and very often they are forced to depend on it.

But to their wonder, the organizations promoting home nursing- for disabled persons- are mushrooming in modern Minnesota. It also is helping in increasing the social value of Somali women and wins them wealth and acclaim. The main barriers of the nursing practices in the Somali region are; illiteracy, lack and proper awareness in modern medical equipment, cultural and social backwardness, religious ethics, etc. It is impossible for an illiterate person to handle the role of a nurse properly. Moreover, he should be well versed in handling the medical equipment. The religion and society of Somali always prevent them from being fully involved in nursing practices.

Works cited

‘(Journey Into the Somali Culture’, By Abigail F. Castel & Susie Kurata. Web.

(“AVETRA 2008: Somali students in VET- some factors influencing pathways”, Maree Keating and Bonnie Simons, Equity Research Centre, Page- 3. Web.

(Voices of the Somali Community – Concepts of Health Care and Medicine). Web.

(“Management of Child and Adolescent Obesity: Attitudes, Barriers, Skills, and Training Needs among Health Care Professionals”, Pediatrics Vol. 110 No. 2002. Web.

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(“A Phenomenological Case Study of a Somali Immigrant Woman”, By Nura Dualeh. Arizona Education Review 2003/04. Web.

(“Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion: Regulating Potential Abuse of Authority by Spiritual Healers”, By Michael H. Cohen © 2002. Web.

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