The cultural aspect of life influences healthcare services where people of various backgrounds interact. Even though modern humanity adjusted to the recent changes towards globalization, different values and beliefs maintain their solid positions in the communities. In a healthcare facility setting, it is crucial to consider and respect diverse patients’ cultural attitudes to improve their treatment and experience (Winthers et al., 2018). This paper presents a view of the Asian and African communities’ culture and how it influences the use of health care services.
The Asian community practices diverse religious beliefs and customs, many of which are related to health, medicine, and disease perception. The religions they follow value the holistic approach to human well-being and pay attention to the connection between a person’s psychological conditions and their diseases (Masci, 2018). African-Americans are another community who came to the United States and saved their native traditions. They value the connection between humans and nature, thus applying the latter’s presents to treat disorders (Masci, 2018). Although many modern Africans are Christians, they still find it crucial to address their health conditions’ spiritual value and apply natural sources to improve them.
Both Asians and Africans hold the family as a central unit of society. Indeed, childbirth is a sacred event for these cultures, therefore many rituals exist to provide safety for the mother and the newborn (Winthers et al., 2018). These cultures consider death a bad occurrence, and only the natural end of life because of aging is identified as good (Winthers et al., 2018). In cultural behavior, the Asian community seems to be largely conservative: according to the Care Compass Network (2018), their culture does not allow people to question problems that arise; instead, they must accept the situation and move on. On the other hand, the African people were regarded as inferior, having been used as slaves but still managed to retain their original cultural beliefs (Noonan et al., 2016). Modern African Americans are primarily united by the fight against public racial discrimination, and they seek respect and equity from institutions like healthcare.
While most Asians and African Americans have embraced modern medicine, some still use and give credence to old ethnomedical practices. Such practices include traditional herbs, voodoo, hoodoo, mind-body therapy, charms, spiritual healing, and nutritional medicines. According to Noonan et al. (2016), those procedures are predominantly used among the old Asians and African Americans who live in rural areas. The African culture significantly affects their standard of care since they impact the use of modern treatment methods. For instance, the inability to express themselves effectively to the physicians means they may not receive the best care for themselves (Noonan et al., 2016). The Asians experience cultural limitations in healthcare because their values might not allow them to get medical check-up regularly. Winthers et al. (2018) point out that most Asians prefer to be attended to by physicians from their community since they are likely to understand them better and know more about diseases that affect them. The physicians can also speak to them in their language and are culturally sensitive.
The nursing professional must be culturally competent because clients expect care that does not go against their beliefs. Awareness about such communities’ values as the Asian and the African can help the nurse build trust with a patient and their family, create a comfortable environment, and timely address the spiritual needs (Sharifi et al., 2019). Clients who receive the holistic treatment that cares for their physical, psychological, and moral conditions can get better in a shorter period, and respect paid to their cultures can help them stay strong in critical situations.
Care Compass Network. (2018). Understanding cultural differences: Asian culture.
Masci, D. (2018). 5 facts about the religious lives of African Americans. Pew Research.
Noonan, A.S., Velasco-Mondragon, H.E., & Wagner, F.A. (2016). Improving the health of African Americans in the USA: An overdue opportunity for social justice. Public Health Review Journal, 37(12), 217-356.
Sharifi, N., Adib-Hajbaghery, M., & Najafi, M. (2019). Cultural competence in nursing: A concept analysis. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 99, 103386.
Winthers, M., Kharazmi, N., & Lim, E. (2018). Traditional beliefs and practices in pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum: A review of the evidence from Asian countries. Midwifery Journal, 23(45).