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Home Education Cultural Differences and Beliefs in Medicine and Medical Treatment

Cultural Differences and Beliefs in Medicine and Medical Treatment

Cultural Differences and Beliefs in Medication and Medical Treatment

For the interview, I had selected a Mexican 57 year’s, old woman. When I asked her about her perception of illness, she responded in these words, “For me, the disease is sickness, and it can be physical and mental.” She said that she believed the causes of disease is due to some imbalance in our body or mind. Secondly, she said another reason for sickness is our sins because her mother used to tell her that due to too many sins/ evils human beings get negative vibes that make them sick. During the interview, she said to me that to treat sickness, she needs to purify her soul, and some home remedies help her always to get rid of the disease. She uses honey, herbs and lemon to keep her healthy, and she feels terrible due to illness. She further told me that she is intending to start going to church to purify her soul as a way of seeking a remedy for her sickness. She said that nurses are very critical as they help them deal with their illness. The old woman wanted to become a nurse, but her father’s death forced her to leave school and work to care for her siblings.

Perception of interviewee health behavior and practitioner:

As explained by the interview, the old woman was never particularly healthy, only somewhere in her childhood. Obviously, with age, she did not become healthier either. On the other hand, she has not been ill with anything solemn: she did not have any operations, they did not give her disappointing forecasts, and she just stayed in the hospital a couple of times, and even then, by accident.

The interviewee’s behavior seems positive because she thinks that after changing life routine and purifying her soul from evils, she has got a remedy for her sickness. She said that unfortunately, her attitude to health was (and partly left) exaggeratedly attentive. If the doctor told her not to run, then she would not do it. If the doctor did not recommend alcohol, she would not drink anything for several months. If she had new sensations in her body, she immediately suspected a new disease. To her, it is even surprising that she did not become a hypochondriac (although she came quite close to this line a couple of years ago).

How his or her perceptions differ from your own?

She believes that she needs to go to church after a chronic illness. Additionally, she believes that new technology and scientific advancement is helping to cure acute and chronic diseases. Despite knowing the importance of technology, she is against it when it comes to health issues. On the other hand, I believe that technology contributes to science and well-being, although there are always downsides. First, new technologies are made available to those in a better position, thereby increasing health inequalities (Sargent, Sedlak, & Martsolf, 2015). Besides, the knowledge that people gather and how to use it will become an increasingly important issue in global competition. Already, we have to consider whether it is worthwhile to provide information, for example, to a health application submitted by an insurance company, despite the stringent regulations involved.

Strategies you could employ to promote the delivery of culturally competent care:

We never have to deny the cultural believes and therefore, we should come up with strategies to promote the delivery of culturally competent care to different patients from different cultural backgrounds. For instance, my interviewee thinks she feels good after visiting a church, so that is her belief, and there is no harm in it. Although nurses and physician need to respect the culture of different patients, new technologies need to be used where necessary (Sargent et al., 2015). Technology is an excellent tool for changing behavior, but the causes of a permanent change can be found in the person and their environment. The application of new technologies, behavioral and social sciences are essential both for understanding these risks and for creating new types of services. Therefore, people from different cultural backgrounds should be sensitized on why they should believe the power of modern technology as a remedy for many kinds of diseases.

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