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Professional Communication: Cultural Sensitivity

Autor:   •  June 5, 2016  •  Research Paper  •  1,098 Words (5 Pages)  •  574 Views

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Professional Communication: Cultural Sensitivity

Staci Forcade

Grand Canyon University: NUR502 Theoretical Foundations for Nursing Roles and Practice

5/25/16


Professional Communication: Cultural Sensitivity

        According to Stafford, Bowman, Eking, Hanna and Lopoes-Defede (1997) “cultural sensitivity means being aware that cultural differences and similarities exist and have an effect on values, learning and behavior.”  In order to provide culturally competent care, it is important to understand the nuances & beliefs of the culture.  This understanding allows the healthcare provider to improve their effectiveness & hopefully avoid any cultural insensitive remarks from damaging the relationship.  The U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2010 projects that the Hispanic population in the United States will increase “from 55 million in 2014 to 119 million in 2060” and make-up more than 29% of the total population.  Currently, Texas has the second highest percentage of Hispanics in the US at 9.8 million (38.1%) (Pew Research Center, Hispanic Trends).   The term ‘Hispanic’ can refer to the “heritage, nationality group, lineage, or county of birth of the person or the person’s parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States.”  (US Census, 2010).  This group was chosen to focus upon, as they are a growing population in Harris County, Texas and a large percentage of the individuals that are having weight loss surgery.

Summary of Article

        The increasing rates of obesity have been widely publicized in media & the Hispanic population is not immune from this disease.  According to the website, State of Obesity.org, 77% of Hispanic adults are either overweight or obese (compared to 67.2% of white adults).  The obesity epidemic is also driving an increase in the rates of diabetes and hypertension and ultimately increasing overall mortality rates.  Unfortunately, ethnic populations in America are disproportionately susceptible to obesity.  The reason for this disparity is related to several factors: level of education, socioeconomic status, food insecurities & food deserts, and cultural food choices.  Many current weight-loss interventions are not truly “culturally adjusted” and those that are designed for the general population are not typical successful in the Hispanic community.  (Lindberg, Stevens, Halperin, 2013)  There are several reasons for this finding: first, is the lack of precise measurements in Hispanic food preparation & the culturally sanctioned use of breads and sugar as a coping mechanism; second, is the fact that eating a diet rich in American junk food is considered a symbol of acclimation into American society; third, food choices are dictated by food classifications and the health belief associated with the food (i.e. the intrinsic qualities of the food such as “hot-cold” or “male-female”).  Culturally adjusted weight loss interventions typically consider the Hispanic population to be very homogeneous & assume that the diet is corn based, when in fact they are quite heterogeneous.  

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