The purpose of this paper is to discuss a selected culture’s health care issues, analyze these health care issues from the nurse as educator’s perspective, and lastly state a health promotion intervention applicable to the selected culture. We as nurses care for a culturally diverse population of patients, especially in the Syracuse area. Consequently, it is crucial that nurses be culturally aware and competent, in order to provide the best patient care possible. there is a high population of patients of the Somali culture in the hospital setting.
From professional and personal experiences, here are evident health care barriers present when caring for Somali patients. These health care barriers need to be counteracted with health promotion techniques; but first the nurse must understand the Somali culture. According to Purnell (2014), people of Somali heritage speak the common language of “Somali” and their religion of Muslim plays a key factor within their healthcare. Because of the language barrier present with the Somali patient, health care professionals may need to utilize an interpreter if necessary (Purnell, 2014).
As the nurse caring for a Somali patient, certain prayer times should be respected nd if possible care times be centered around prayer (Purnell, 2014). The health care provider should also take into consideration that patients of Somali heritage prefer “same-sex” providers in their care (Purnell, 2014). It is important that the nurse include family members in the health education process, since the concept of family is very important in the Somali culture (Purnell, 2014).
Common health conditions associated In our local Syracuse area, with people of the Somali heritage include: PTSD/ depression resulting from refugee conditions, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, Helicobacter pylori, malaria, intestinal parasites, and lactose deficiency (Purnell, 2014). Since, many Somalians in the U. S. are refugees, it has been found that there are high rates of diabetes and obesity are present with the changes in nutrition; due to the culture of American food, and lack of physical activity due to cold weather (Purnell, 2014).
According to Purnell (2014), the Somali diet is well balanced with foods such as meat, grains, and vegetables; however, the food staples in the Somali diet consist of foods high in carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, and bread. When assessing the Somali diet, beverages with a high sugar content such as coffee, tea, and soda are prevalent (Purnell, 2014). Specific food preferences, nutritional habits, diabetes education, along with exercise level should be evaluated by the healthcare professional (Purnell, 2014).
Regarding pregnancy, individuals of Somali culture usually breast-feed their child as well as supplementation with formula. Also, during the time period after birth the Somali culture promotes forty days of rest for the mother, therefore family members assist with care (Purnell, 2014). Somalian health care practices are centered around tradition and religion and not being able to obtain prescription medication due to lack of insurance is an evident issue (Purnell, 2014). Also, Somali patients tend to use healing rituals and the use of herbs as a traditional heath practice (Purnell, 2014).
Furthermore, Somali patients are open to, as well as, respect health education and medical care. In order for appropriate health literacy, it is important to explain all medical interventions and answer any questions regarding care (Purnell, 2014). Health care providers should respect and understand all spects of the Somali culture before analyzing health care issues and addressing health promotion needs. care to the culturally diverse patient, certain characteristics of the individual should be assessed in order to provide best care.
These characteristics include the six cultural phenomena which should be addressed before teaching interventions begin (Bastable, 2014). According to Bastable (2014), the six cultural phenomena include: communication, personal space, social organization, time, environment control, and biological When providing variations. Communication abilities with the patient are crucial n order to establish rapport with the patient; aspects of communication include the patient’s primary language, along with verbal/non-verbal cues (Bastable, 2014).
The nurse as educator takes into consideration the patients personal space, analyzing their interactions with family members. For example, who is in charge of the decision making process and if anything such as certain foods or herbs are present in one’s culture (Bastable, 2014). If family members are a key component in the individual’s care, the heath care provider should pay close attention to the patient’s non-verbal cues to ensure the patient’s iews are expressed and not just the families (Bastable, 2014).
In regards to the social organization category, any culture specific or religious beliefs should be addressed. This meaning, identifying any beliefs that could possibly hinder medical treatments, as well as observing how religious practices shape views of illness (Bastable, 2014). The specific cultures view of time can be considered along with the aspects of religious needs (Bastable, 2014). The nurse as educator assess the patient’s environmental control by analyzing how they view the health are system along with their medical needs, this is done by paying attention to patient needs and beliefs (Bastable, 2014).
Lastly, biological variations include one’s genetics, physical abilities, psychological needs, as well as body structure and how they relate to health promotion and education (Bastable, 2014). After analyzing the Somali culture and reviewing culturally sensitive care practices, the identification of a communication barrier along with American health beliefs is an evident issue. Specifically, in regards to people of Somalian heritage, there is a istinct need for increased education on proper diet and exercise to combat high rates of obesity and diabetes (Purnell, 2014).
As mentioned above, the Somalian diet has foods evident in each area of the food pyramid, however a majority of foods consumed are high in carbohydrates and sugar content. According to Schwartz (2008), due to the effects of the traditional Somalian diet on the body, hyperlipidemia is another immediate health condition. Due to Somalian cultural norms, medical conditions such as high cholesterol and obesity are not viewed as problems, since their culture interprets health issues s a problem only if they are associated with cough, fever, or pain symptoms (Schwartz, 2008).
Other evident nutritional habits from Somali culture include: not portioning out serving sizes of food, frying is the typical method of most food preparation, unfamiliarity’s with reading food labels for nutritional content, and an unaccustomed need for restricting fats and calories (Schwartz, 2008). Also, in Somalian culture, “rounded bodies” are viewed as indications of prosperity, health, and wealth (Schwartz, 2008). In regards to diet and exercise, walking is a common activity however, finding extra time to xercise as we seein the American culture is not common in the Somali culture (Schwartz, 2008).
Therefore, diet and exercise among the Somali patient population is an import health promotion topic to address since there are various health issues present due to cultural barriers. Furthermore, the proposed health promotion teaching intervention is to develop an educational pamphlet in the Somali language discussing: healthier food choices, promotion of physical activity, and importance of routine check-ups to monitor weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels.
As previously mentioned above, his culture is health literate and has a high acceptance of medical values and nursing interventions, as long as they are properly explained. individual’s culture and health care practices in essential before identifying any evident health care barriers. Due to the high volume of Somali refuges in the local Syracuse area, health promotion interventions in this population should be In conclusion, understanding an addressed. An increase in diet and exercise education in a culturally sensitive way is the proposed health promotion intervention, which will address the culture barrier in regards to obesity.