The Influence of Culture and Values in Community Health Nursing
Stephanie D. Patton
26 August 2013
A 69 year old woman with colon cancer. AS a 69 year old African American female presented to the community nurse with complaints of weakness in the hands and severe fatigue. She also had undergone menopause and attributed these changes in health to it. Her menstrual periods had been very heavy and irregular. She experienced recent weight loss of over 15 pounds over the past 9 months. The patient reported that she had cases of constipation and hemorrhoids. Her last mammogram 12 months ago was normal. The patient has had no screening colonoscopy and is currently taking ...view middle of the document...
4) in many cultures concepts such as cause and effect may not be relevant. Many groups who adhere to great tradition of Buddhism. Confucianism and Taoism accept the fate of an illness and many do not necessarily seek to discover the cause or the cure. Many people allow fate to guide their lives and try to live in simplicity and harmony with nature. This knowledge is more than simple customs or ritual, it is a way of organizing and thinking about life. It gives us sense of security about their behavior without having to consciously think about it. Culture also provides the underlying values and beliefs upon which a person’s behavior is based. For example culture determines the value one can place on achievement, independence, work and leisure. It forms the basis for one’s definitions of male and female roles. It influences a person’s response to authority figures, dictates religious beliefs and practices and shapes child- rearing.CH nurses need to be aware of their own cultural orientation and to be sensitive to cultural differences between nurses and clients. A nonjudgmental and generally tolerant attitude is a must. Nurses in the community need to be curious seekers of knowledge about their lives and the beliefs of the people they care for. They need to be optimists who are secure in their ability to work with individuals, families and communities to chance for the better. They need to be creative and willing to take risks. CH nurses need to alert, skilled professional who are open to the world around them, willing to accept divergent views, and to listen and learn from clients. Whether CH nurses focus on an individual, group or community as the unit of care, the concept of culture is a critical variable that must be explored to have the best possible understanding of the people for whom they provide nursing care. If CH nurses do not know what people believe about health – what it is, and how and if it can or should be improved—then how can they change anything for the better with regard to groups or individual members of society? Culture and the values learned within a cultural group are critical for knowing how people perceive health, health care and nursing providers. In order to learn the culture and values in different cultural groups the nurse must first retrieve the information needed about the culture.
In retrieving information about a culture, the nurse needs to know additional resources: the library and good cultural informants. Most nurses know how to conduct a literature search but the criteria for selecting an informant may acquire knowledge. Spradly (1993) has four characteristics of a good informant. (1) Thoroughly uncultured (2) currently involved in the culture (3) A nonanalytic reporter (4) Willing to participate. One who is thoroughly acculturated has been part of the group represented for a long time. Current involvement means present and active participation in the culture to be investigated. A nonanalytic reporter is...