For all healthcare providers, regardless of their practice setting, cultural competency is essential for effective practice. With the increasing diversity in healthcare today, cultural competency is important to promote health equity and reduce disparities (Purnell, 2013). The key emphasis on cultural competency is for healthcare providers to link this aspect of care with health education to prevent disease and promote health. Healthcare providers must assess the patients and families for effective maintenance, disease prevention, and health restoration. One of the most effective models that provide providers with insight on how to practice culturally competent care is the Purnell model for cultural competence. The model highlights specific questions that can be used to assess culture and aid the provider to make informed decisions. This discussion analyzes the questions from the 12 cultural domains in the Purnell model and the level of adherence to patients’ cultural practices and beliefs.
Overview and Heritage
Have you lived in other places of the world? What is your education level? What is your income level?
I have lived in many places before in the United States because my parents used to move around when we were young. Moving around is good because we get to interact with other communities and learn new ways of life. In my family, education is important and anyone who seems to deviate from the family culture of learning does not earn enough respect. I have adapted the beliefs and regard of my parents towards education and managed to reach a master’s level. Learning at the master’s level has opened many doors and I can earn enough money to support my family. I am proud that I come from a family that values social interaction and education because it opens doors for new opportunities and earns one respect in society.
What is your primary language? What other languages do you speak? Do you find it difficult to share your thoughts, feelings and ideas?
My primary language is English but I know how to speak Spanish. Having grown up in the US, I sometimes find it difficult to communicate with people from other regions. Although that is the case, I have interacted with many people from different parts and learned how they speak English differently. I do not find it difficult to share my feelings and thoughts but I am very secretive. Earning the trust to speak freely with friends can be more difficult compared to close people like family (Purnell, 2013). I do not like this practice of opening up only to the family because I have come to realize people outside the family can be more helpful and genuine than relatives or close family members.
Family Roles and organization
Who makes most decisions in your family? Is it acceptable for people to have children out of wedlock? Are you accepting gay, lesbian, or transgendered people?
The decision-making process in the family is very traditional with older adults allowed to dictate what should be done. Growing up I could see my dad get to make decisions and I thought only men were allowed to do that. Because of the strict family pattern regarding education and Christianity, having children out of wedlock is not acceptable. Regarding the aspect of gender and sexuality, my Christian family tends to have mixed thoughts on transgender people. I do not accept the family tradition and organization because decision-making should be equal. I do not adhere to gender roles because everyone has to work and people should be allowed to live how they want.
Do you usually report to work on time? Do you consider yourself a “loyal” employee?
I highly value time management and reporting to work on time has always been a priority. I do not like playing around with work, especially with patients because time is an important resource to them. I consider myself loyal because I like my profession and I do respect my superiors. I like the culture of time management because it facilitates productivity, success, and effectiveness, and it enhances job satisfaction (Özel et al., 2018).
What are the major illnesses in your family? With what race do you identify?
The major illnesses in the family include diabetes and hypertension. As a healthcare provider, I understand that a family history of chronic illnesses influences my health. I always try to live a healthy life by eating a balanced diet and engaging in exercise (Reynolds et al., 2018). Regarding the aspect of the race, I do not like to identify myself with a specific group because it affects how we see others and how services are offered in healthcare and other areas.
Do you smoke a pipe (or cigars)? Do you exercise each day? What type? How long?
I do not indulge myself in smoking or drinking alcohol because it is bad for my health. In our family, it is very wrong to engage in high-risk behaviors like smoking. To maintain health, exercise and physical activity are part of my routine each day. As part of the chronic care model, self-management through activities like dieting and exercise is important to prevent the development of chronic diseases (Reynolds et al., 2018). I usually do morning runs for 30 minutes and go to the gym twice a week for 2 hours.
Are you satisfied with your weight? Do you avoid specific foods? Why do you avoid these foods?
I am not satisfied with my weight because it is not a healthy one according to the standard weight measurements. To address my weight concerns, I do avoid foods with high-fat content, especially fast foods. Maintaining good nutrition is important to reduce weight and prevent the development of diseases like diabetes and hypertension (Purnell, 2013).
Pregnancy and Childbearing Practices
I refrain from addressing this section because of my past experiences.
What special activities need to be performed to prepare for death? Do you believe in afterlife?
There is this tradition in the family whereby those dying, especially the elderly make peace with the living by having all family members close. Although I do not find this practice that important, I believe one should part ways with their loved ones close. I believe in the afterlife because I am a Christian and it is a family thing to seek spiritual guidance during the period surrounding death.
What is your religion? Do you consider yourself deeply religious? How many times a day do you pray?
I am a Christian and I do not consider myself deeply religious. I regularly attend church and pray twice a day, in the morning and evening. I believe being religious helps in creating good relationships with patients and their families. I can cope well with difficult times because I believe in God and some practices like empathy are greatly dependent on one’s spiritual beliefs ( de Brinto Sena et al., 2021).
In what preventive activities do you engage to maintain your health? Who in your family takes responsibility for the family’s health?
Preventive activities to maintain my health include annual checkups, exercise, and dieting. These practices are important to ensure early identification of disease and prevention of chronic illnesses like diabetes and cancer. In my family, health responsibility is mostly individual and one gets to make decisions on when to see a doctor. I like these practices because every person has a responsibility to maintain their health and nobody should dictate the health practices of others.
What healthcare providers do you see when you are ill? Physicians, nurses? What healers do you use besides physicians and nurses?
I see all types of healthcare providers when I am ill because they are trained to provide good care to patients. I do not believe much in traditional medicine but I find it interesting how people get healed when using complementary and alternative medicine. Each culture has its set of beliefs and practices associated with health and illness that should be respected (Jansen et al., 2021). The use of traditional healers and complementary practices like meditation can help improve the well-being of patients.
de Brito Sena, M. A., Damiano, R. F., Lucchetti, G., & Peres, M. (2021). Defining spirituality in healthcare: A systematic review and conceptual framework. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 756080.
Jansen, C., Baker, J. D., Kodaira, E., Ang, L., Bacani, A. J., Aldan, J. T., … & Adra, C. N. (2021). Medicine in motion: Opportunities, challenges and data analytics-based solutions for traditional medicine integration into western medical practice. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 267, 113477.
Özel, Y., Hasgül, E., & Duzcu, T. (2018). The examination of time management skills of healthcare professions the examination of time management skills of healthcare professions. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences, 8, 8-13. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/234676351.pdf
Purnell, L. (2013). Transcultural diversity and health care. A culturally competent approach, (4th ed., pp. 1-7). Philadelphia: F A. Davis.
Reynolds, R., Dennis, S., Hasan, I., Slewa, J., Chen, W., Tian, D., … & Zwar, N. (2018). A systematic review of chronic disease management interventions in primary care. BMC Family Practice, 19(1), 1-13.
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