Diversity and Health Assessments
In May 2012, Alice Randall wrote an article for The New York Times on the cultural factors that encouraged black women to maintain a weight above what is considered healthy. Randall explained€”from her observations and her personal experience as a black woman€”that many African-American communities and cultures consider women who are overweight to be more beautiful and desirable than women at a healthier weight. As she put it, Many black women are fat because we want to be (Randall, 2012).
Randall’s statements sparked a great deal of controversy and debate; however, they emphasize an underlying reality in the health care field: different populations, cultures, and groups have diverse beliefs and practices that impact their health. Nurses and health care professionals should be aware of this reality and adapt their health assessment techniques and recommendations to accommodate diversity.
In this Discussion, you will consider different socioeconomic, spiritual, lifestyle, and other cultural factors that should be taken into considerations when building a health history for patients with diverse backgrounds.
Reflect on your experiences as a nurse and on the information provided in this week’s Learning Resources on diversity issues in health assessments.
Select one of the following patients to consider for this Discussion:
40-year-old male on Prozac who works 60+ hours a week and wants to explore alternative and complementary modalities to help him sleep
Overweight female who traveled to Mexico to have gastric bypass surgery and is now experiencing complications
At-risk elderly male who is physically and financially dependent on his daughter, a single mother who has little time or money for her father’s health needs
Transgendered patient (male-to-female) who is taking estrogen and wants to undergo sex reassignment surgery
32-year-old pregnant lesbian
Examine the specific socioeconomic, spiritual, lifestyle, and other cultural factors related to the health of the patient you selected.
Consider how you would build a health history for the patient. What questions would you ask, and how would you frame them to be sensitive to the patient’s background, lifestyle, and culture? Develop five targeted questions you would ask the patient to build his or her health history and to assess his or her health risks.
Think about the challenges associated with communicating with patients from a variety of specific populations. What strategies can you as a nurse employ to be sensitive to different cultural factors while gathering the pertinent information?
Discuss/give explanation of the specific socioeconomic, spiritual, lifestyle, and other cultural factors associated with the patient you selected. Explain the issues that you would need to be sensitive to when interacting with the patient, and why. Provide at least five targeted questions you would ask the patient to build his or her health history and to assess his or her health risks.