Culturally Competent Nursing Care

Culturally Competent Nursing Care: The Mexican-American Culture

Culturally Competent Nursing Care: The Mexican-American Culture
Rachael Crossgrove
Florida Keys Community College

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

Health care in the United States is very challenging, and is more now than ever as the population becomes more culturally diverse. As our population becomes more diverse the demand for culturally competent healthcare is on the rise. Cultural competence is a developmental process that involves the ability to understand different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. It includes the ability to understand and accept the language, culture, and behaviors of individuals and groups outside of one??™s own culture. The Mexican-American population is the most abundant growing minority group in our country. Therefore it is imperative to gain an understanding of their culture in order to provide culturally competent nursing care.

The article I have chosen begins by stating the Mexican-American population is on the rise. The authors stress the need to increase nurses??™ awareness of this particular culture and their beliefs and values of health and illness. They decided to perform a field test in Texas because in 2000, Hispanics comprised nearly one third of the total population, Mexican-Americans representing approximately 75% of this group (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2001). The tool that they decided to use was developed in 1991 by Giger and Davidhizar, called The Transcultural Assessment Model. The model was developed to be used for those who desire to become culturally competent outside of their own culture. It is somewhat of an interview guide that includes questions pertaining to social organization, environmental control, and the selected cultures health beliefs and traditional practices. Mexican-American women were interviewed since they traditionally assume primary responsibility for the maintenance and well-being of their families. Six bilingual Mexican-American women between the ages of 64 and 84 born in the United States were interviewed.
After establishing trusting relationships with these six women, they were individually interviewed for 60 minutes each. The interview findings help to become culturally competent to the Mexican-American culture. In summary, Mexican-Americans are extremely family oriented, and rely on each other to solve problems and meet individual and family needs. The role of the Mexican-American woman is to nuture her family and maintain its health and well-being. The older women in the culture serve as the role models who give guidance and often make health care decisions for the family. The male is often viewed as the power figure, which runs the household; the wife deemed submissive. Mexican-Americans believe in external and internal locus of control when it comes to their health. Those with an external locus of control may believe that God??™s will determine their health. The participants described their strength of religious views; faith and church permeate the daily family and community life of Mexican-Americans (Kemp, 2001). Illnesses are often treated with herbs such as mint tea, chamomile tea, tamolindo (a drink made with tamarind that has been boiled, seeds removed, liquefied, then combined with sugar), and cinnamon. Folk medicine blended with traditional medicine has also been used according to the women interviewed. Folk healers (curanderas) are used, but Mexican-Americans may be hesitant to express their beliefs in folk practioners because fear of conflict with traditional medicine providers.
The information included in the article I chose is relevant for those who wish to be culturally competent. Respecting and understanding beliefs and practices of the Mexican-American culture is imperative when creating a trusting, therapeutic relationship that involves positive health outcomes. My current practice as a student nurse will change from reading this article. The information obtained enhances my knowledge of becoming culturally competent; a process that will require me to make a commitment to develop awareness, gain knowledge, and maintain cross cultural skills. I need to recognize and accept the United States as being a culturally diverse country and be a student nurse who values this diversity.
Eggenberger, S., Grassley, J., Restrepo, E. (July 19, 2006). ???Culturally Competent Nursing Care for Families: Listening to the Voices of Mexican-American Women???. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. Vol.11 No.13

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *