Providing Culturally Competent Care to a Puerto Rican Patient

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Freshman (College 1st year) ・Healthcare & Medicine ・APA ・3 Sources

Cultural competence can help health care providers provide high-quality care to their patients and the community at large. Assuring that a practitioner's communication skills are strong allows patients to remain assured that the issues are well understood. Building patients' trust encourages them to open up and even suggests that other community members get their health checked out, resulting in a healthier community. Curiosity as a health care provider to learn more about people's cultures and environments is a measure that has always proven to be effective in expanding knowledge. The culture and traditional practices of Puerto Ricans are known to significantly impact their wellbeing (Perez & Perez-pinzon, 2016). They have held on tight to the ancient practices of traditional healings and concoctions that are believed to have medicinal properties. In such a case, most of the Puerto Rican’s remain healthy because of the belief they have in the healing power of their traditional medicines. Puerto Ricans’ are very skeptical about using the scientific medical ways as they do not believe that they are necessary, most of them thinking that an illness is caused by spiritual possession, in such cases going to mediums instead of seeking medical care.
Eye contact plays a major role in communication; good eye contact between patient and nurse promotes confidence in the nurse and suggests honesty from the patient, this particular form of communication is however interpreted differently in different cultures. In Puerto Rico children are taught to avoid eye contact with adults and people in authority as a sign of respect for them (Cruz-oliver & Cummings-vaugh, 2016). Medical caregivers working in Puerto Rico need to know the cultural practices so that there is no miss interpretation from the body language of children when being examined. By knowing that eye contact is forbidden from children to adults as a nurse, you can encourage the patient and let them know that it is okay to look at you and that it is not disrespectful to you, in this way the patient will open up more and feel relaxed. The Puerto Ricans’ are known for enjoying their alcohol although they may be a little bit on the extreme side regarding consumption. The culture of the Puerto Ricans that encourages the over indulgence in alcohol drinks is the cause of the high number of cirrhosis patients. With such information as a nurse, it makes it easier to give advice to the patients on how to prevent themselves from such an illness by reducing the consumption of alcohol and eating a healthy diet with regular exercise for optimum health.
Puerto Rico is known for celebrating their traditions and customs which transcend to the medical field. Complementary and alternative medicine/therapy is not widely accepted in the Puerto Rican culture as much as in others, Cam being unconventional methods the Puerto Rican culture is yet to agree wholeheartedly. With their firm beliefs in their spiritualism and folk medicine to cure all diseases, they tend to use general health services less compared to other ethnic groups. According to (Kelner, 2014) the only CAM practices accepted by the Puerto Ricans are the natural methods including massages. Holding on to their beliefs leads the Puerto Rico people to have limited health horizons and increased death mortality from preventable, curable, or even diseases that can be under control before it spirals like HIV/AIDs.

References

Cruz-oliver, M. D. & Cummings-Vaugh, L. (2016). Ethno geriatrics: healthcare needs of diverse populations. New York, NY: Springer.
Kelner, M.(2014). Complementary and alternative medicine: Challenge and change. New York, NY: Routledge.
Perez, A. M & Perez-pinzon, H. (2016).Complementary alternative and integrative health: a multicultural perspective. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

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