What is Cultural Diversity?
Cultural diversity refers to the differences among people based upon shared ideology and valued sets of beliefs, norms, customs, and meanings evidenced in way of life (ANA, 1996, Position Statement on Cultural Diversity). This diversity is expressed in many ways. Diversity in history, beliefs, practices, and opportunities not only exist among the many cultural groups but also they typically exist across a wide continuum within the group. Health behaviors are influenced by culture and cultural values as well as by socioeconomic status.
Considerations as you develop your reports.
Health and Culture:
The nurse must recognize that members of various cultures define “health” differently. Individuals may define themselves or others in their group as healthy even though the nurse identifies symptoms of disease. Cultural priorities of the client may differ from that of the nurse.
Culture and Healing:
Some individuals and families in some cultural groups may also use traditional healing systems, sometimes called lay or folk-healing systems, with or without allopathic (modern) medicine. In addition to seeking help from the nurse as a health care provider, clients may also seek help from traditional or religious healers. Most nurses have experienced clients who combine medical care with prayer. Nurses need to be sensitive to, respectful of and nonjudgmental regarding patients’ health beliefs and practices in order to maximize patient outcomes.
Health status of all clients is influenced by the interaction of physiological, cultural, psychological, economic and societal factors. Diversity within and among groups necessitates data collection activities and programs that are tailored to meet the unique health care needs of different subgroups.
Health beliefs are translated into health care practices, which then affect health status. What constitutes appropriate care for specific health conditions may be guided by cultural and social class expectations?
Health Literacy and Educational Needs:
Planning health education programs requires identifying and building on cultural strengths that address sensitivity to cultural factors. Meeting the language and cultural needs of each identified minority group, using minority specific community resources to tailor educational approaches, and developing materials and methods of presentation that are at the educational level of the target population are essential considerations in the planning process. Health programs should be sustainable over a long period of time and accountable to the people they serve.
Include the following cultural dimensions in your report: CUBAN CULTURE
Nutritional Behavior/Diet: Are there restrictions? Are there common practices?
Medical health care access and experience: Is access to care and equality of care an issue for this group? For example, are group members less likely to receive needed care due to system issues such as financial access or provider biases than another group? (Note: This is a big topic which will be studied in more depth later, but since the interface with health care has had a strong impact on cultural expectations and practices, it will be helpful to begin to examine this aspect of culture in this cultural assessment).
Identify actual or potential health risks among group members.