The purpose of studying diversity is to acknowledge cultural influences on healthcare beliefs and practices.
Terms to Know:
- Ethnocentrism- Thinking your culture is better than someone elses
- Acculturation- Learning beliefs, norms, and expectations of a dominant group
- Biculturalism- Identifying with two cultures.
- Stereotyping- Thought that all people within the same race, ethnicity, or culture act and think the same things
Ethnic Group Values to Know:
African Americans: Head nodding does not always mean understanding, religious beliefs are sources of strength (healing by laying of hands), asking personal questions during first contact may be considered rude, may be late time to appointments, older family members are highly respected.
European Americans: Mostly on time (future oriented), use modern medicine to heal (modified diet, exercise, antibiotics), uses handshake to greet, respect personal space.
Asian Americans: Head nodding does not always mean understanding, silence is a sign of respect, do not touch members of the opposite sex, respect personal space, use hot and cold foods to balance yin/yang, many languages within group, large families may be present during times of illness men being the leaders.
Native Americans: May be late for appointments, past oriented, family unit is important, may seek guidance from myths, use of folk medicine to treat unbalance with nature, silence is a sign of respect.
Hispanic Americans: Expressive faces/body language,, family needs overcome individual, ask to touch their children, may be late for appointment, religious beliefs are sources of strength.
Cultural Food Preferences “for NCLEX”
African Americans: Pork, “soul” food, fried
Hispanic Americans: Fried food, spicy, beans
Native Americans: Cornmeal, Fish, fruits
Asian Americans: Hot/cold soups, fish (raw), rice
Side Note: Yes, I know that stereo-types are just that. I have professionally worked with all of these groups and in real life they can be so different from what any books have to say 🙂 Let your patients guide your interaction.