African American Heritage Paper

This paper explores the African American heritage and in addition identifies the importance of nurses being culturally conscious, sensitive and competent when caring for individuals of African American heritage. Although these phrases talked about above are used interchangeably, they’ve totally different meanings. Cultural awareness is appreciating the exterior or materials part of the tradition, such as the music, arts, and physical traits, and dress. Cultural sensitivity is the non-public attitudes toward the culture, such as not saying things that’s offensive to somebody from a different ethnic or cultural background (Purnell,2013, p.

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Cultural competence is putting all of it together; through the use of your data to offer culturally congruent care and to have the power to work successfully with people in cross- cultural conditions. African Americans are the second largest ethnocultural groups in the United States; nevertheless, it is among the most misunderstood cultures. This culture is so distinctive as a outcome of they’ve blended their cultures from their different properties of origin in Africa, together with American culture.

This paper overviews the history, communications, household roles, workforce issues, biocultural ecology, high-risk behaviors, pregnancy and childbearing practices, spirituality, health care practices, nutrition, and dying rituals within the African American culture.

It is necessary that nurses see themselves as becoming culturally competent when caring for African Americans, and this entails incorporating cultural want, cultural awareness, cultural knowledge, cultural talent, and cultural encounter with the folks of African American heritage (Campinha-Bacote, 2009). 2 A NURSING METHOD TO AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE One of the largest minority teams within the United States, African Americans culture includes the varied cultural traditions of various African ethnic teams.

“Data from the U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census (2001) reveals that there are approximately 34,333,000 African Americans residing within the United States, representing 12. 1% of the total population” (Campinha-Bacote, 2009). They have been forcibly imported into the United States as slaves from 1619 to 1860 (Purnell, 2013, p. 21). During slavery, they incorporated their culture from their properties of origin, and in consequence, their tradition included a number of cultural traditions of African ethnic groups. Many African Americans reside in poverty due to discrimination and lack of proper schooling.

Most families of African American heritage worth schooling, but they nonetheless battle to have equal representation within the office, and are more doubtless to work in a hazardous setting, leading to job associated illnesses and illness. Due to the lower-level positions and the problem in attaining greater opportunities in the workplace, some African Americans continue to really feel discouraged. Nurses need to handle discrimination and also points that create ethnic or racial pressure within the office.

English is the language spoken by African Americans, however, individuals of decrease socio economical standing talk in a casual language known as African American English (AAE) (Purnell, 2013, p. 22). According to Campinha-Bacote (2009), the main problem that AAE speakers face is prejudice. Most individuals believe that AAE is inferior to Standard American English. As a outcome, African Americans who converse AAE are sometimes misinterpreted as being uneducated.

Nurses must be aware not to stereotype African Americans as only speaking AAE, and likewise to not stereotype them as uneducated primarily based on the way they convey. African Americans are expressive when three A NURSING METHOD TO AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE speaking and infrequently use physique languages to convey their emotions. Their expressive language and physique movement can be misconstrued as anger or provocation.

Nurses have to be conversant in these characteristics and not misinterpret them. As a nurse, when interacting with African Americans for the primary time, make certain to address them formally, until given permission to make use of other names, corresponding to their first name. The African-American family has evolved over the past 20 years and nonetheless continues to evolve. A person that is introduced up in a standard nuclear household is more more doubtless to proceed that tradition. Whereas, a person that is brought up in a single father or mother home is more prone to proceed that same tradition.

Although these situations are extra likely, they do not seem to be at all times so. To provide probably the most competent care, the most effective thing for the nurse to do can be to ask the patient in a non-judgmental means about family dynamics and in addition ask them what they’d feel the most comfy with in phrases of decision making for his or her care. The nurse ought to then accept this choice. Being knowledgeable about this cultural group’s family values and beliefs are essential for offering look after the African American affected person (Revell & McGhee, 2012).

A high proportion of African American households are matriarchal and fall below poverty level. With that being stated, it is clever for nurses to make a point of together with ladies when discussing well being care issues. Nurses additionally ought to take notice when coping with homosexual individuals on this ethnic group, not to break confidence by sharing their lifestyles with others. This data can jeopardize and cause conflicts throughout the household and damage relationships. Romantic relationships of the same-sex aren’t totally acceptable inside this tradition.

4 A NURSING METHOD TO AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE As in lots of culture, social status is essential in African American group. African Americans are sometimes met with unfavorable atmosphere and prejudice attitudes primarily based on their cultural background and skin shade. Assumptions are made based mostly on AAE spoken by some as an indication of unintelligence and the dearth of education. These assumptions typically have an effect on employment alternatives and job promotions. Nurses ought to be cautious not to fall into the stereotyping African Americans primarily based on these characteristics.

African American skin color ranges from mild to very dark due to the combination of a gene pool of greater than a hundred racial strains (Purnell, 2013, p. 25). When assessing for cyanosis in dark-skinned African Americans, make positive to take notice of the oral mucosa or conjunctiva. When assessing for pallor, observe the absence of the underlying red tones that give the pores and skin it’s glow. Lastly, when observing for jaundice, make positive to have a look at the sclera of the eyes, the soles of the feet, and the palms of the palms for any yellow discoloration (25).

Health care is a luxurious that low socioeconomic African Americans may not be able to afford. Meeting their daily wants takes priority over what they consider to be minor well being issues. Consequently, ailments that might be treatable may find yourself being a life- threatening situation. African Americans are family oriented, because of this; some tend to initially seek medical attention from family members rather than going to a well being care professional. Health care professionals want to pay attention to this and work toward instructing and distributing health info via church and neighborhood centers. Most African American girls are in opposition to abortion as a result of non secular, cultural, and ethical beliefs.

As a end result, there’s a delay in making a choice until it turns into too late. 5 A NURSING METHOD TO AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE Family assist is crucial for pregnant African American women. Gichia (2000) studied and came upon that African American girls look for function models similar to older female relations, or if they have none, they look for someone who appeared like a mom to them, corresponding to a neighbor. These role fashions can provide the pregnant lady and new mom with wanted help. According to Abbyad & Robertson (2011), nurses caring for pregnant African American ladies need to be informed concerning the variety of methods by which childbirth preparation can occur, as in another group of pregnant women.

Moreover, nurses need to think about the ways during which their attitudes and behaviors ship unwelcoming messages to African American ladies seeking prenatal care or childbirth courses. These attitudes can discourage the African American lady in in search of further care. “Culturally competent look after the childbearing African American girl consists of addressing all elements of care together with the utilization of complementary and various medicine” (Revell, 2012).

The childbirth nurse that is offering culturally competent care should be conscious that the perceived norm is totally different for each family. African Americans are spiritual and are normally affiliated with some spiritual order. Historically, the church has performed a significant function within the lifetime of African American culture. The church is a spot the place they can meet on frequent grounds. Faith and prayer is among the most necessary attributes of Christian African Americans. They consider that God has the facility to heal them, and he additionally has the power not to. They consider that no matter occurs to them is based on God’s will. Food is very priceless in the African American culture.

It symbolizes well being and wealth. It is derived from African descent. When meals is offered to someone, it means that the particular person is valued; and by providing food, they are given you one thing that is 6 A NURSING METHOD TO AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE priceless to them. When it comes to diet, some African American diets are excessive in ldl cholesterol and fats. According to James (2004), “African Americans will want information on primary nutrition matters similar to serving sizes and reading food labels”. Nurses that work in African American communities must be concerned in programs that promote wholesome food choices.

These applications can specifically be developed for churches, neighborhood grocery shops, and local eating places. “Health disparities among the African-American inhabitants embody life expectancy, coronary heart disease, hypertension, toddler morality and morbidity rates, most cancers, sickle cell illnesses, HIV/AIDS, violence, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and asthma” (Campinha-Bacote, 2009). Unfortunately, they’ve the tendency to see a health care professional solely when completely essential. “Health is viewed as concord with nature, whereas sickness is seen as a disruption in this harmonic state due to demons” (Purnell, 2013, p. 33).

Recognize and help your patient cultural behaviors and believes to promote healthy interactions. In addition, always provide factual information about well being practices that will not be understood due to their cultural believes and cultural variations. In conclusion, it is recommended that nurses familiarize themselves with cultural particular data in order to provide cultural competent care in African American community. Nurses should consider the next query: “In caring for African- American patients, have I requested myself the right questions.

” It is important for nurses to bear in mind of their biases and prejudices towards African Americans. In addition, they should possess the needed abilities to conduct a cultural evaluation while possessing knowledge of this cultural group (Campinha-Bacote, 2009). Lastly, nurses should at all times 7 A NURSING METHOD TO AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE have the desire to turn out to be culturally competent not simply with African American patients, but any affected person that has been placed of their cost. eight A NURSING METHOD TO AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE Resources Abbyad, C. , & Robertson, T. (2011).

African American Women’s Preparation for Childbirth From the Perspective of African American Health-Care Providers. Journal Of Perinatal Education, 20(1), 45-53. doi:10. 1891/1058-1243. 20. 1. 45 Campinha-Bacote, J. (2009). Culture and diversity issues. A culturally competent mannequin of care for African Americans. Urologic Nursing, 29(1), 49-54. Gichia, J. E, (2000), Mothers and others: African-American women’s preparation for motherhood. The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, 25(2), 86-91, James, D. (2004).

Factors influencing food decisions, dietary intake, and nutrition-related attitudes among African Americans: software of a culturally sensitive model. Ethnicity & Health, 9(4), 349-367. Purnell, L. D. (2009). People of African American Heritage. Guide to culturally competent health care (2nd ed. , p. 21-35). Philadelphia: F. A. Davis Co. Revell, M. A. , & McGhee, M. N. (2012). Evolution of the African American Family. International Journal Of Childbirth Education, 27(4), 44-48. Revell, M. A. (2012). Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine within the African American Culture. International Journal Of Childbirth Education, 27(3), 55-59.