Heritage assessment is an essential tool for the evaluation of an individual as a whole with a focus on the specific aspects of the person that might not be understood or evident when not adequately assessed. The attempt to evaluate and learn about the heritage of an individual is essential towards determining the understanding and beliefs of the person. Furthermore, it helps provides insight into the significance of how culture and heritage play a part in shaping individual attributes and behaviors (Jarvis, 2015). It also assists in understanding the current cultural practices of a person and how an individual practices specific cultural beliefs and traditions. Notably, the culture of an individual can influence the beliefs, behaviors, and values of a person. Therefore, the assessment of an individual’s heritage is considered as the first step towards identifying what can facilitate or hinder the communication with other people from other cultures.
The heritage assessment was an important tool in providing a good understanding of the families that were interviewed. The interviewed families were from different cultural backgrounds and had different beliefs. Although it was apparent that the families interviewed share some similarities, it was anticipated that some differences would be identified. The comparison of the shared health practices such as health protection, health maintenance, and health restoration among the families was assessed.
Usefulness of Applying a Heritage Assessment
Individuals use the heritage assessment tool for a number of reasons. Many people use this vital tool to evaluate the needs of individuals from different cultural backgrounds. The heritage assessment tool has critical aspects that include respectful care, effective care, linguistic and cultural competence. The issue of cultural competency in the heritage assessment tool involves asking specific questions as well as focusing on the concept the cultural diversity of a person. Many health practitioners are required to determine the cultural biases of a person when administering medication (Jarvis, 2015). Ideally, the healthcare professionals should be aware of the cultural differences of the patients to enable them to provide treatment that complies with the cultural beliefs and values of the patients. Nurses and other healthcare professionals can achieve this by performing the heritage assessments that describe the cultural biases and characteristics of the patients. As a result, the heritage assessment tool can help nurses to get a clear understanding, picture, and insight of the cultural backgrounds of the patient. This can eventually improve the quality of patient care services as well as the patient outcome.
The Family Interviews
The three families interviewed consisted of my own American family, the German family, and Indian family. The heritage assessment focused on the three cultures to help understand their practices, beliefs, and values. The information obtained from the evaluation can help inform some health care decisions among these cultures.
The American Culture Family
The heritage assessment tools evaluated the families based on three aspects that include the health maintenance, the health protection, and health restoration. With regards to the health maintenance, the family is affiliated with Christianity and believes in God. According to the family, it is possible for humans to maintain their good health status by trusting and believing in the word of God. The family also indicated that it is advisable for an individual to ensure personal cleanliness and body hygiene at all times. Besides, taking a healthy and balanced diet can help improve the health of a person. Notable, the family indicated that some of the leading cause for HIV transmission is fornication and adultery. They indicated that the people who engage in activities such as fornication and adultery should be avoided since they are not good people in the society.
On health protection, the family firmly believes in God’s power and protection. They argue that God as the creator of heaven and earth can protect all His creatures. They also practice childhood vaccination as protection towards some diseases. This implies that they engage in health protection practices.
The Indian Culture Family
The interview from the Indian family indicated that they believe in consuming health food to help maintain good health. Another essential component of health maintenance for this community is to engage in the physical activities (Edelman et al., 2017). They believe that physical activities contribute personal fitness and thus prevent the individuals from certain sicknesses. There are also some specific religious traditions, meditation, customs, fasting and prayers that can help the society to maintain good health. The family indicated that they prohibit eating that is alive and this means that they are vegetarian.
With regards to health protection, this family indicated that there exist special foods that are reserved for women after giving birth to protect their health. They also noted that women are not allowed to eat certain foods such as rice and beans after giving birth. Ideally, women are required to consume soft foods after delivering. The family also indicated that women are required to wear specific ornaments on their waist to help shape the abdomen and prevent it from sagging.
The German Culture Family
The German family stressed on three issues that include exercise, cleanliness and proper nutrition as a necessity to health maintenance. In addition, they believe that God can help them maintain their healthy condition. Eating a healthy diet and engaging in physical activities are also crucial towards maintaining good health in the German culture. Based on health protection, the German family indicated that they put on amulets to protect themselves from attacks from the individuals who are evil. The doctors also recommend physical activities to people to help detect any deviation and recommends treatment before the health conditions worsen.
Common Health Traditions
It should be noted that individuals from one cultural background do not necessarily have common beliefs, values, and traditions. Majority of the people from the American culture have different beliefs and values about the health protection and maintenance (Wright & Owens, 2016). Based on the heritage assessment, it is evident that all the discussed cultures believe in religions and prayers for their health wellbeing. Besides, they indicated that seeking medication and treatment is essential for maintaining good health of a person. As a result, it is appropriate for individuals to visit a doctor to check their health status regularly.
The patients who are admitted to any hospital or healthcare institutions can recover faster and better when the family members provide them with the necessary support. It requires that family members of the patient be around and provide the necessary support to the sick person. In essence, the families play an integral role in the healing process of the patients. It is recommended that patient who is admitted to healthcare facilities should stay with a family member to help in the healing process (Bell, 2001). The presence of the member of a family near the patient in a hospital is argued to provide the patient with happiness, strengths and a sense of belonging which eventually helps in the recovery process.
Bell, L. (2001). Cultural Care Guides To Heritage Assessment and Health Traditions. Critical Care Nurse, 21(5), 79.
Edelman, C. L., Mandle, C. L., & Kudzma, E. C. (2017). Health Promotion throughout the Life Span-E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Jarvis, C. (2015). Physical examination and health assessment. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Wright, P. E., & Owens, S. B. (2016). Complementary, Alternative and Integrative Health Approaches among African Americans. Complementary, Alternative, and Integrative Health: A Multicultural Perspective, 235.