The Hispanics’ Health Care Beliefs and Nursing

Hispanics are one of the largest racial-ethnical groups that represent diversity in the United States. Although they live among American cultural convictions, habits, and traditions, the Hispanic community still holds their own beliefs and lifestyle foundations. The Hispanic group’s culture vastly influences their health care approaches, disease awareness, and the way the US healthcare system treats the community representatives. This paper aims to summarize the health-related cultural beliefs of the Hispanics, as well as the way nursing care is being provided for this ethnic group.

The culture of the Hispanics has a solid religious background, and most of the representatives are Roman Catholics. Therefore, their primary value is family, each member’s well-being, and the importance of being together. Hispanics’ food habits are also tied to the family-centered cultural aspect. They value the ritual of sharing a meal and being thankful for the given food and health. The traditional products of the Hispanics’ consumption are available in the US, thus the group members are capable of eating their preferred foods, such as tacos, rice, and tomato-based sauces. However, they experience restrictions in eating due to the high level of poverty among the Hispanic community. Health care plays a vital role in the Hispanic culture, and the group members’ strong beliefs are combined in their own frame of providing care – curanderismo. Torres and Hicks (2016) explain that “curanderismo is a traditional Mexican American healing system that holistically treats disorders through religious, spiritual, and health-related means” (p. 1). A disease should be simultaneously cured on the biological and spiritual levels, and herb-based remedies are usually used in this approach.

The cultural background influences the Hispanics’ relationship with the US healthcare system. The group’s representatives tend to seek a cure in staying with family and trying to find the mental or spiritual root cause of a disorder. The other crucial factor of preferring to be healed at home is the poverty among the group representatives, limiting their opportunities to get medical help or insurance. Moreover, the experiences of Hispanics receiving healthcare in US clinics tend to be negative. Deficient communication, perceived discrimination based on language knowledge, race, or socioeconomic status occur when a Hispanic adult reaches for the qualitative medical help (Cheng et al., 2018).

Competent professional medical workers, such as nurses, should provide every patient with an equally high level of care. Besides, nursing practices should include the holistic approach of care, combined with the knowledge that family and togetherness are valuable for this ethnic group. The study of Hispanic patients by Sobel and Sawin (2016) revealed that “connectedness is central to culturally well-informed nurse-patient interactions” (p. 229). When receiving nursing care, the Hispanics expect to get trustworthy professionals who will treat them respectfully and be culturally competent.

Cultural backgrounds of ethnic minorities, such as Hispanics, must be included in the nursing education and be taken the same serious as medical procedures’ algorithms. Besides, knowledge of how a patient perceives healthcare can help choose the most convenient approach for them. Specifically, the Hispanics’ would prefer to get more holistic care and to receive the moral support from medical professionals as well. Nurses have to treat every patient with equal respect and willingness to help regardless of their ethnic or racial group. Diversity is one of the values of the US nation, and health care must also represent it.

References

Cheng, H. L., Lopez, A., Rislin, J. L., Kim, H. Y., Turner, J., Terhorst-Miller, H.,… & Cha, C. H. (2018). Latino/Hispanic community adults’ healthcare experience in a New Mexico borderland region. Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice, 11(4), 5. Web.

Sobel, L. L., & Metzler Sawin, E. (2016). Guiding the process of culturally competent care with Hispanic patients: A grounded theory study. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 27(3), 226-232. Web.

Torres, N., & Hicks, J. F. (2016). Cultural Awareness: Understanding Curanderismo. American Counseling Association, 39, 1-7. [PDF document]. Web.