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Quality health care provisions must recognize clinical, social, and cultural needs of every patient who come to the medical facilities to seek help (Boyd-Franklin, 2013). The heritage assessment defines the degree to which the cultural beliefs are reflected in the lifestyle of an individual (Boyd-Franklin, 2013). The increasing interaction between people from various backgrounds is a sign that culture is no longer dependent on a particular geographical region (Chandra et al., 2015). This study is aimed at comparing the differences in health traditions between the African American, Chinese and Indian cultures. Therefore, the health care givers should conduct the heritage assessment and consider the cultural beliefs of the individuals under treatment in order to promote better health protection, restoration, and maintenance.
Importance of Heritage Assessment
Heritage assessment is a significant tool for the medical practitioners to deliver standard and quality health care services to the individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. Providing treatment to the patients from different cultures such as African American, Chinese, Indian and others is a challenge to the medical officers. Both modern and traditional medicine works together in order to ensure that the health needs of the individuals from different cultures are met.
African American Family
The interviewed representative of African American culture was 25-year-old John, who comes from Johannesburg, South Africa. There are four children in the family under consideration, specifically two males and two females, and John is the youngest. Back in South Africa, they lived in a rural setting before moving to Jackson, Mississippi in 1995. During John’s childhood, he lived with both his parents as well as maintained good contact with relatives such as uncles, aunties, cousins, nephews, and nieces.
Traditionally, the African Americans believe in supernatural treatment therapies as a healing practice (Giger, 2016). Another common belief is that the whites as the caregivers cannot be trusted because of the injustices that the African Americans were exposed to due to the whites’ fault throughout the history. Therefore, they would rather resort to using herbs for medication.
The herbs are majorly consumed for the purpose of healing by the older people as opposed to the youth (Giger, 2016). Besides, the older generation in the community is perceived to be gifted with the insight into the medicinal properties of the herbs, which helps properly cure a certain disease (Purnell, 2014). When certain illness attacks some member of the society, the medicine man usually provides the proper medication for that person.
The health protection within the African American community comes to the practice of encouraging by the current health care system the African Americans to seek medication services and engage in healthy consumption of foodstuff. As for the healthcare restoration, currently the young largely use the hospital care system for their medication therapies (Purnell, 2014). Thus, the younger generation believes that the traditional medication systems are outdated while the older people are still attached to the traditional medicine for the restoration of health (Giger, 2016).
For health maintenance purposes, the health care practitioners have joined the religious groups in order to attain the African Americans to offer them medical services (Chandra et al., 2015). The heritage assessment outlines that for the African Americans, the ability to maintain good heath by an individual depends on a person’s capacity to uphold religious practices. Despite the fact that the African Americans are adopting the modern medical services, they still support the use of their traditional medicine. In general, compared to the Indian culture, the African Americans often maintain their health depending on their religious practices (Boyd-Franklin, 2013).
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I am Indian by origin, yet an American citizen. I am the eldest of three children. My parents came to American as business merchants in 1996 from the Northern part of India. Since then, my parents have only made it back to India on two occasions; however, I personally have been to India only once. Currently, we live in Oakland, San Francisco, but we are rarely in touch with our relatives as most of the contacts were lost. The Indian culture just like any other culture is unique as it has its own customs, beliefs, and values (Boyd-Franklin, 2013).
Regarding common health traditions, the Indians believe that the environment may cause ill health. Therefore, people in the society must maintain proper balance between themselves and their environment (Purnell, 2014). Besides, some Indians also reckon that the interventions of supernatural beings may cause ill health as well. Families in the community usually subscribe to the traditions by providing the medical therapy which necessarily includes the consumption of herbs as well as other forms of minerals. Moreover, the traditional care givers also provide dietary advice to the ill.
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The Indian culture makes them believe that a person is healthy when their soul, mind and body are in balance (Chandra et al., 2015). In the process of health restoration, the Indians use both the traditional and modern medicine equally whenever they check into the medical facilities. These individuals often prefer that they are attended by the medical professional of the same sex (Laing et al., 2014). The Indian families are also involved in the treatment of their loved ones; hence, they wish to be present whenever a member of the family is undergoing treatment.
The Indians believe in healthy eating in order to maintain their health. Most of the Indian food contains herbs or vegetable, hence, providing nourishment to the body and keeping good health. Furthermore, the health care system within the community is developed in order to ensure that the environment occupied by the Indians are inhabitable and safe (Giger, 2016). The officer manages the health protection mechanism by involving the entire community, hence, guaranteeing the safety of the Indians.