Transcultural Concepts in Nursing Care


Chapter 11 Culture, Family, and Community

Some cultural groups believe that certain foods maintain or promote health. Specific foods often are restricted or promoted during illness, for exam ple, the proverbial chicken soup. Cultural prefer ences determine the style of food preparation and consumption, the frequency of eating, the time of eating, and the eating utensils. Milk is not always considered a suitable source of protein for Native Americans, Hispanics, African Americans, and some Asians because of their relatively high inci dence of lactose intolerance (Mayo Clinic, 2022). When working with clients from a different cul ture, nurses must evaluate patterns of daily living as well as culturally prescribed activities before they suggest forms of physical activity or exercise to cli ents. Not everyone has access to a tennis court or a gym, and many individuals would not feel com fortable in such surroundings, or in aerobics classes regardless of the setting. Helping clients plan physical activities that are culturally acceptable is an important first step in implementing a pro gram of physical activity for clients in diverse cul tures. For example, traditional tribal dancing has become popular on some reservations for Native Americans. Running remains popular for members of the Hopi tribe. Running is deeply rooted in Hopi traditions as a way to carry messages from village to village and is also prominent in Hopi ceremonies. In the past, men of the Hopi tribe were superb dis tance runners, and the tribe still sponsors running events for its members. Hopi High School located on the Hopi reservation in Arizona has earned 27 consecutive team championships state cross-coun try titles in a row and is well known throughout the state for its excellent track teams (Perry, 2021). Another aspect of lifestyle that must be under stood for the successful promotion of health and wellness is the manner in which clients manage stress. Stress management is learned from child hood through our parents, our social group, and our cultural group. Smoking, chewing tobacco, and con suming alcoholic beverages and/or drugs, although not healthy habits, are often used to manage stress. Although these practices are not associated with a group’s culture per se , they are often found in groups The nurse may find that in some cultural groups, such as Mexican Americans, traditional healers, such as curanderos , can be helpful for persons with some emotional or psychologi cal disorders. It has been a tradition for many Mexican Americans to seek care from traditional healers (Zoucha & Zamarripa-Zoucha, 2021). This lifestyle practice or health-seeking behav ior seems “appropriate” and the right thing to do, whereas seeking care from a psychiatrist for emotional or psychological disorders would be a highly unlikely behavior. In some aggregate eth nic settings, such as the Chinatown area in San Francisco, there are practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine as well as mainstream U.S. medicine, acupuncturists, neighborhood phar macies, and herbalists, all of which are avail able to meet the diverse needs of that particular neighborhood. Lifestyle is about the parts of our lives that make us feel comfortable and “right with the world.” It’s how we make our homes, relate to our loved ones, raise our children, and manage our health and the well-being of those around us. Feeling comfortable with a healthcare provider’s office may depend on the healthcare provider sharing the same ethnic heritage or at least speaking the language of the client as well as having visual materials such as posters, maga zines, and videos in languages appropriate for many of their clients. Copyright © 2023 Wolters Kluwer, Inc. Unauthorized reproduction of the content is prohibited. whose members feel that they do not have other options or alternatives based on economic or chal lenges related to access to appropriate care. Evidence-Based Practice 11-5 presents a study that describes how homeless individuals have dif ficulty accessing care and often have poor health outcomes that are compounded by social and economic factors, such as housing insecurity, unemployment, and limited social support. The housing needs of homeless individuals are best contextualized by their health and social needs. Health providers must consider the priorities of homeless individuals to develop culturally con gruent services that are appropriate and effective care for this population.

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