African Americans are a vulnerable group of the population as they tend to develop diabetes more often than other races, which is a concern for the healthcare system that has to undertake actions to educate them to improve their health outcomes. In addition, African American communities in the U.S. occasionally face challenges connected with different levels of service provided to them as compared to other communities. These issues call upon a new wellness education program that will address them and provide a high quality of care through the implementation of evidence-based practices, principles of holistic health, ethical standards, and other elements that benefit African American population.
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Problems and Needs of the Program
The introduction of a new wellness program that targets a specific population often faces various challenges. Such problems may be of cultural, educational, legal, linguistic, and economic origin. To avoid these issues, the program needs to employ principles of holistic care, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), and be mindful of the ethical and spiritual concerns of the target population.
The Program Proposal
A new wellness education program for African Americans will cover the educational needs of the latter concerning healthy prevention practices and management of diabetes. The program will also address cultural, legal, ethical, and spiritual concerns of the population combining it with the implementation of evidence-based practices, holistic care, and CAM.
Cultural Considerations of the Education Program
The delivery of culturally competent care requires quality education for nurses as they are the primary executives of this program. According to Murphy (2011), addressing the cultural side of the patient-caregiver relationships, a nurse needs to develop the mindset that advances their cultural knowledge, attitude, and skills. A nurse that works with African American population should build their awareness of the cultural differences, beliefs, gestures, speech practices, and other aspects of culture that may be significant for a patient. Building such knowledge will tighten the bond between a nurse and a patient and ensure effective communication of health needs. A positive attitude of a nurse towards representatives of a possibly different culture is another part that forms the basis for trust and partnership in achieving the desired health outcomes for a patient. Conversation practices such as professional language simplification and explanation facilitate the process of effective communication that also helps a patient achieve his or her health goals.
Since the African-American population is mostly well-versed in English no specific personnel for translation of written or oral presentation material will not be needed. However, nurses should be equipped to deliver the information to the general public with no specific medical knowledge.
CAM, Traditional Medicine, Holistic Health, and Spirituality Considerations
Healthcare providers engaged in the education program need to be aware of the target population’s CAM or traditional medicine or receive such knowledge directly from a representative of the target population. An integration and mutual education principles should guide the process of intercultural exchange to ensure the best experiences and healthcare outcomes for African Americans. Holistic healthcare practice will be implemented in the sense that both the mind and body of the patient will be attuned to positive health outcomes through education on prevention and positive communication and suggestions of tailored treatment options. It is also paramount for healthcare providers to have high regard for mental or spiritual practices exercised by African Americans. Facilities should be provided to perform them as these practices have a high impact on the mental wellbeing of a patient and help them cope with pressure (Jafari, Farajzadegan, Loghmani, Majlesi, & Jafari, 2014).
The education will be provided to the target population in the form of written leaflets with essential information on prevention, affordable treatment options, and basic health advice. Once a week or once a month, in accordance with nurses’ schedules, at local hospitals or community centers a lecture will be held with a similar agenda.
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Program Advertisement and Participation Encouragement
Such channels as television, radio, and the Internet could be used as they provide excellent coverage of a target audience. Additionally, community outreach could be practiced in the form of brochure giveaways and verbal communication. Financial and organizational help could be requested from hospitals as well.
Ethical and Legal Concerns
The current wellness education program will follow the provisions of the well-established and currently practiced nursing code of ethics devised by the American Nurses Association (ANA). It represents a guide that helps nurses navigate through the relationships with patients and colleagues and teaches them to value human life, health, and dignity (Epstein & Turner, 2015). Under this document, racially unequal treatment of patients is prohibited. Non-maleficence is also considered one of the key ethical principles.
As for the legal considerations of the program, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers great possibilities for African American population to have medical insurance and community health benefits. The insurance covers HPV tests, mammograms for women, and other services that let low-to-middle income people access preventive care.
Local and federal laws provide various benefits for low-income by creating grant programs. For instance, under California state law, a grant program can fund the creation of school health centers, offer help to minorities in acquiring medical education and other activities (“California code, health, and safety code,” n.d.).
Benefits of the Education Program to African American Population
The main benefit of this program to African Americans in the U.S. is the provision of reliable and helpful information about possible dangers of their condition, preventive measures, and opportunities for affordable treatment options. In the long run, the results of the program implementation will include better awareness of African American population of their possibilities for affordable care, informed use of preventive measures, improved health literacy, and, consequently, health outcomes. No additional incentives will be needed because it is natural for most of the population to seek affordable healthcare solutions for themselves or their close ones and have at least some regard for their health and wellbeing.
Economic Impact of the Education Program
Promotion of health literacy and prevention measures will ensure the population stays in good health condition in order to live a full life. As a result, these people will be able to contribute more actively to the U.S. economy by purchasing goods and services, performing socially beneficial work, producing goods, and paying taxes. Prevention knowledge and practice among African Americans allows saving federal and state funds allocated for the treatment of such diseases as HIV or AIDS.
African Americans are a vulnerable population as they often have issues with access to quality healthcare, poor knowledge of healthcare options, and a high percentage of diabetes cases. The presented wellness education program will help address those issues through the means of written and oral communication. The program will be based on principles of holistic care, and consider the spiritual needs of the population. Additionally, it will be guided by the nursing code of ethics and local and federal legislation. The proposed program is believed to have a positive impact on health outcomes of African Americans, improve their health literacy, and ensure their active participation in the U.S. economy by being healthy.
California code, health, and safety code. (n.d.). Web.
Epstein, B., & Turner, M. (2015). The nursing code of ethics: Its value, its history. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 20(2).
Jafari, N., Farajzadegan, Z., Loghmani, A., Majlesi, M., & Jafari, N. (2014). Spiritual well-being and quality of life of Iranian adults with type 2 diabetes. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Web.
Murphy, K. (2011). The importance of cultural competence. Nursing Made Incredibly Easy! 9(2), 5-10.