Heritage Assessment Tool: Philippines, Puerto Rico and Punjab India
The cultural heritage of a community entails the beliefs and practices passing down along the lineage from one generation to another to try and explain different occurrences. A heritage assessment tool enables health workers summarize a community’s cultural beliefs and practices in a brief history taking. The tool helps the care giver understand the challenges he or she may face developing possible solutions favoring the care plan and the patient. The paper seeks to discuss the cultural heritage of Philippines, Puerto Rico and Punjab India.
The Filipinos have some health traditions associated with cultural heritage. According to the Philippines, health is a state of food, heat or cold balance and equilibrium hence illness as an imbalance of either as an attempt to explain causes of illness. The classification is into naturalistic, mystic or personalistic. The naturalistic include illness that they believe is from natural events like lightning, contrary foods, and drugs or genetic. During the care of Filipino patients, it is important to pay attention to contrary drug and food content during prescription and administration of drugs. Filipinos have a high regard for illness passed on a family line, and they refer it to ‘namamana’. The personalistic are believed to be a punishment from supernatural beings like witches and hence believed in protection through the use of holy oils, talisman or wearing religious objects like around the patient’s wrist. The Filipinos thought mystical causes of illness to be from behaviors and experiences of that person. The elderly Filipinos were alleged to seek advice and treatment in case of signs and symptoms of illness. The major belief in cure and treatment of illness includes bringing the state of the body back to the balance that is dying, heat and cold. It involves protection by cleansing, balancing cold and heat, and wearing objects as guards of the body. Rituals and sacrifices were for protection from supernatural beings’ powers. (Bautista, 1998).
The Filipino family pays value to the Philippines’ traditions and practice in almost every way. Among the traditional practices include a close contact with their family with frequent visits, using and practicing their native language, preparing traditional meals and intermarrying within the Philippines. Preparation of the traditional meals is essential in the prevention of diet imbalance which according to Filipinos is the major cause of illness. Although they have a strong feeling of their origin, they intermingle with other ethnic groups and religion. Regarding the Philippines’ way of living, maintenance of health crucially involves maintaining a balance in diet, cold and heat. Achieving the balance is by eating a balanced diet, avoiding what is traditionally a taboo among other factors that bring the body to equilibrium. (Bautista, 1998).
Indians believe health to be a state of balance of mind, body, sense and soul. During illness, Indians practice ‘Ayurveda’ which is their form of medicine. The Ayurveda evolved from intellectual communication with the spirit world. The Indian culture mostly considers home treatment with the comfort of the family since they have a great value for joint family practice. Following an illness, the treatment plan includes medicinal herbs and plants, baths, massages, and rituals. Relatively, they may seek physicians’ help for illnesses considered too serious. Mental illness among Indians is considered evil hence stigmatization of victims. (Rinehart, 2004)
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Indians practice strong relation to the traditions and cultural heritage. The Indian families practice joint family with family members living in the same home. The strong bond makes them preservative in that they might not be too open when in contact with the outside cultures. The Indians barely get to learn other languages hence creating a barrier, especially for elderly patients. As a health worker, the barrier might require a translator to ensure effective management during care. Indians believe in life after death hence practices spiritual preparedness of the soul of an afterlife. They possess a strong cultural value for privacy and are gender sensitive therefore in the case of hospitalization male patients are comfortable if attendance is by male physicians and vice versa. Family comfort is also crucial therefore visiting hours enough to allow a great deal of company. Indians present to be specific and preservative with their feeding practices hence might prefer to eat meals prepared at home. During nutritional reviews, it is essential to pay attention to seeking what might be forbidden to avoid controversial statements. The patient might, therefore, ignore following not meeting the dietary needs. Hence, alternatives foods advised. The Indians also has some cultural practices that might prove questionable during care like threads tied around the neck for women or around the trunk for men. As a health worker, it is crucial to explain the necessity to remove and seek permission from patient or relative before removing them. (Rinehart, 2004)
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The Puerto Ricans believe health as the four myths balance that is cold, heat, emotions and spirits. Illness is, therefore, an imbalance of the either four. Curing illness due to heat imbalance is through cold feeds remedies and cold imbalance with hot feeds remedies. Preventing sickness because of emotions is by maintaining a balanced mental status while treating spiritual causes is by consulting the spirit world. They think illness is the possession of evil spirits hence seeks spirits for cure measures. Culturally, Puerto Ricans highly regard spirits allowing them to play a major influence in their beliefs. Upon illness, they rely on folk treatment other than the modern medication. According to their culture, modern medicine is lowly regarded and suspected but with time, it has been fairly integrated. (Cuadrado & Lieberman, 2002).
The Puerto Ricans’ culture demands strong family relations among family members since support among family members is legal. The cultural practices allow male dominance, early marriages, and measuring education is not on book knowledge. The Puerto Ricans’ women only have a say in their homes. The beliefs may seem minor, but they play a major contribution to the plan of care. Therefore, consideration of each following the assessment is important. (Cuadrado & Lieberman, 2002).
Different communities possess different cultural beliefs and practices. In this study, some communities like indians may practice a lifestyle that does not allow some dietary intake. As a health worker, it is important that you provide alternative foods providing similar nutritional value.
In conclusion, during provision of health care, the ethnocultural beliefs play a crucial role hence demand a consideration while attending to a patient. Some beliefs might be a barrier and alternatives healthy approaches are considered to promote good health and prevent illness. The heritage assessment tool enables healthcare providers lay down the ethnocultural beliefs of patients and to which extent they adhere to them. The assessment will hence allow the caregiver integrate the ethnocultural beliefs with the biomedical practices. The assessment tool is also crucial in allowing the healthcare givers create a relationship with the patient carefully noting key points that will be a determinant during provision of care. He or she can know the highly regarded ethnocultural beliefs of the community he or she is serving that enables him or her identity challenges that may occur and raise probable solutions accordingly. As a person, the assessment provides basic guidelines to intermingle with the community wholly as a social unit illustrating respect for the ethnocultural beliefs though he or she might not actually believe in them. The health groups may also put in consideration campaigns against cultural practices and beliefs that translate to poor health like dietary factors that increase occurrence rates of diseases like hypertension and diabetes among Puerto Ricans and Filipinos. Hospitals should aim to create an environment that is safe and comfortable depending on the cultural beliefs and practices of the community. (Dawson, 2013).