Understanding cultural diversity is very important for a provider. This week I was assigned to obtain a cultural assessment on a 23-year-old Native American male. Currently, M. R. is experiencing increased anxiety and is requesting for something to help calm this new anxiety. He has been currently using marijuana and alcohol to help self treat. Although he feels that if he continues with this lifestyle, he will be unable to enter heaven. He currently does not take any prescription medications, denies other illegal drugs, and has a positive health history of diabetes, hypertension, and alcoholism.
Understanding one’s view of health, illness, and their approach to cure an ailment will allow the provider to provide balance and harmony (Ball, Dains, Flynn, Solomon, & Stewart, 2019, p. 28). Each culture and religion has a different understanding and approach to the conditions they may face. Providers need to be competent in culture to care for their patient’s beliefs, behaviors, and needs, which are presented during their visit (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015, para. 3).
In this case study of a 23-year-old Native American male, it does poses some cultural concerns. As M. R.’s provider, it is important to understand the cultural devastation that has occurred within Native American tribes, which has resulted in high homicide and suicide rates, the abuse of alcohol, increased drug use both intentional and unintentional, which has contributed to high rates of chronic liver failure resulting in death (Espey, Jim, Cobb, Bartholomew, Becker, Haverkamp, & Plescia, 2014, p. 307).
In M. R.’s case, it is important to understand that his cultural beliefs can be based on holistic care. To help aide in M. R.’s care, the provider will need to obtain more information on the cultural practices in which he utilizes. Five examples of question that will be presented during the interview are as follows:
- Do you have a support person you can talk to?
- What are your cultural beliefs and practices?
- How often do you utilize alcohol and marijuana?
- How do you feel about alternative treatment options or herbal remedies?
- What are your thoughts on traditional medication to treat your anxiety?
While presenting these questions to M. R., I would utilize the RESPECT model, along with providing an open environment, allow space and non-verbal therapeutic communication. Although more questions will be asked during this interview to obtain a proper cultural background for the treatment of M. R.’s needs to restore balance and harmony within his life.
Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Seidel’s guide to physical examination: An interprofessional approach (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Cultural competence. Retrieved from https://npin.cdc.gov/pages/cultural-competence
Espey, D. K., Jim, M. A., Cobb, N., Bartholomew, M., Becker, T., Haverkamp, D., & Plescia, M. (2014). Leading causes of death and all-cause mortality in American Indians and Alaska Natives. American Journal of Public Health, 104(Suppl 3), S303–S311.
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