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Heritage Health Assessment

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The Heritage Assessment Tool (HAT) is a set of questions used to examine an individual’s ethnic, cultural and religious heritage. HAT can be used to understand an individual’s health traditions. The answers to the questionnaire can be used to evaluate how an individual views of health maintenance, health protection and health restoration. The author will review three different individuals culture heritage using the HAT. The cultures that are being compare for differences in health traditions of Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans and European White Origin Americans. The review of HAT results will give insight to compare the differences of health traditions between these blended culture families. Culture heritage is values, religious beliefs, and traditions developed by an ethnic group. United States population consists of a diverse group of multicultural individuals with different racial and ethnic groups; by using the HAT can help healthcare professionals to develop cultural competencies. Each culture beliefs of health are viewed differently. Heritage Assessment Tool

The objective of the self-evaluation of the author and reviewing results from two peers was to compare the differences in health tradition between the three cultures. From the diverse group Asian/Pacific Islander American, Hispanic American and European White Origin American; all three individuals have blended cultures. The peers that precipitated in the HAT had parents that married outside of their own ethnic group. The author of this paper used their own HAT evaluation to gain knowledge of health tradition based of the cultural heritage. By using the HAT the answers can determine the family unit how to improve health and illness beliefs and practices. This information obtained for HAT can also be used in Nursing. Understanding a patient culture heritage; the healthcare provider can better identify with the patient thoughts and fears regarding modern healthcare. A patient traditional heritage affects how a patient’s maintain health, protection health and restoring health. HAT provides individual’s awareness between one’s own culture heritage and that of other ethnic groups from different cultures.

As a result of using the HAT by health care professionals there can be positive communication between the patient and health care professional. The greater number of positive responses the greater the person’s identification with a traditional heritage (Spector, 2000) The results of the HAT can be used to evaluate a patient’s cultural, religious heritage; the HAT can determine how deeply an individual identifies with a particular health tradition. Individuals who can are more ethnocultal heritage may incline to identify their health and illness in a holistic way. Therefore, their health beliefs and practices many be different from the modern healthcare. Health Traditions by Health Maintenance, Health Protection, and Health Restoring In the health traditions review by the three culture each group has a unique traits that have been applied to their health from beliefs from their culture group. These methods that is distinct to their own beliefs and values from their cultural heritage. These differences in beliefs and values can be used along with modern approaches to health care. Peer Heritage Reviewed

There are similarities and differences between the Asian/Pacific Islander American, Hispanic American and European White Origin American. Some of the elements that affect health maintenance are there dietary restrictions, foods that are eaten certain times of the year, activities that are related to a specific culture, visiting with family and religious practices. Health protection includes special diets, symbolic clothing, family activities and superstitions. Health restoring includes embracing homeopathic remedies, relaxations techniques and religious rituals. Asian/Pacific Islander Americans

When reviewing the HAT of an Asian/Pacific Islander Americans peer; eating a diet of fresh vegetables and meat. The peer that was interviewed practices the diet similar to her traditional heritage; no processed food, fresh and organic. Foods are prepared from the ethnic culture of Asian/Pacific Islander Americans. Some of the cultural traits of the Asian/Pacific Islander Americans have a hierarchical structure of family and loyalty to extended family members. This peer has a small family unit in the local area and does not maintain contact with extended family members. Their family consists of grandparents, parents, children and siblings that are local. Other health tradition among the Asian/Pacific Islander Americans is there are strong in religious beliefs; attend church on a regular bases, practice pray and spiritual fellowship. During time of illness spiritual counseling can be a part of a treatment plan. However this peer does not practice any religious practices. That is a trait that she as not adopted from her parents.

With that being said there are strong family values that she is instilling on her children. Unlike her parents this family unit does not attend church. There is also believed a “warm” environment is essential to maintain optimal health. Health and illness consists of prevention and restoring balance. Health prevention is practiced by healthy diet, exercise for all members of the family; family walks, bike rides and after school activities. Annual health screens are a must and vaccines are part of the wellness practices. Asian/Pacific have a holistic belief system is the understanding modern health care treats certain types of diseases. This peers parents however practice the health traditions of the Asian/Pacific Islander Americans culture by waiting to see a physician after holistic traits of the culture have failed to treat illness. This peers family has maintained some of the health traditions from her parents, however her family is creating their own health traditions to pass on to their children. Hispanic American

When reviewing the next peer’s HAT, the family is from the Hispanic American culture. The family commonly prepares food from the ethnic background of their parents. The Hispanic American diet consists of grains, beans, fresh fruits, vegetables and meat. Family life has traditionally the center of Hispanic culture; the native language is spoken and read. Extended family members live in the same area of the family; there are large family gatherings around religious holidays. Part of the past culture was during time of illness seeking help from traditional healer, use herbs and home remedies. However, this family does believe in annual screens for health promotion and does take steps towards health prevention though a health provider. The parents of this family do not share the same practices related to health promotion and his can lead to the Hispanic American presenting to the healthcare system in late stages of illness. In the Hispanic culture family is a supportive group; this not only parents and children but also extended family. Majority of the Hispanics are catholic; wearing religious medals to show their faith in God. This family attends church on a weekly, praying and reading the bible is practiced in the home environment. Self-Evaluation

When reflecting on the authors own health traditions and how it identifies to her culture of European White Origin American; like many other American the authors parents were born in the United States and ethnic background from many different areas of Europe. The diet is combination of fresh, farm raise frozen foods, fresh fruits, meat and seafood. All meals are prepared at home and family dinners with family members present. Holidays are spent with extended family member and celebrated over meals prepared at home. Maintaining relationships with extended family member is important even when long distantness is involved. Health care is provided by modern western delivery system. There still simple traditional health illness practiced still used today; homemade chicken soup for the common cold and honey for a sore throat. However when there is an oncoming acute illness or health issue affecting activities of daily living guidance is seek out from a health provider. While growing up our family’s traditions focuses around our religion of Christianity. Attending church and church activities weekly is an important in our family heritage growing up. Praying is done before meals, bed time and in times of needed spirituality support. Conclusion

After reviewing peer’s HAT there are many different cultures that can influence health traditions. A common factor is all culture reviewed is having a strong spiritual belief; each has their own unique religious practices that effect health traditions. Appling the HAT to the author’s own health traditions has allowed reflection on beliefs and values and remaining nonjudgmental with interviewing others. The HAT is a valuable tool to be use by healthcare providers to understand different cultures to provide optimal care to a diverse patient population. Healthcare provider a facing an increased number of patients with chronic illness for vary of health traditions. To provide quantity care the nurse must understands the patient’s situation; including stress factors and cultural differences. There needs to be basic knowledge and positive attitudes regarding patient’s that have different health traditions from the norm. To understand other cultures beliefs and values the nurses first understand their own. Nurses as healthcare providers need to take steps towards understand the cultural values, health traditions and practices provide optimal care. When caring for patients of different health traditions the nurse must be respectful and understanding of other cultures values and beliefs without being judgment. As the population continues to grow and change some will the diversity in the health system.



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