1-Your post was very detailed and informative. I relate to this because by being from a different culture from my coworkers and patients, I have different views and opinions. As a result, I must always remind myself that my values, beliefs, and customs may not be same, but that is okay. I try to be culturally competent, but it is not always possible because there are way too many different cultures, as well as diversity amongst individuals. What I do is learn from each patient, as individuals, and learn as much as I can from reading about cultural diversity. With this in mind, I see the importance of putting my beliefs aside so I can provide culturally competent care. We can come across patients that react to pain differently, or that use holistic medicine, or that requires us to interact with them a certain way, so we must be able to accommodate those differences so that we build trust with the patient, and they become receptive to our teaching. I agree with you that we must use materials and teaching techniques that are culturally appropriate, as well as taking the patient’s values and beliefs into consideration, which will result in increased compliance with the treatment plan.
2-One might argue that the Amish parents were uneducated when making their decision to halt chemo treatments for their daughter. They felt the treatments were making her very sick and possibly kill her. As healthcare providers, we know that chemo is vicious and can make patients feel terrible. I think that they were trying to save their child, the only way they knew how by going on the run and seeking alternative treatment.
3-I really like your idea of asking patients during admission about their religion or cultural preferences. There is a lot that we miss because we don’t ask these questions. I have been using the VARK tool to interview people of different cultures and I have learned so much about them, their background and even their families. Sometimes people from the same culture or background may have different believes. Since these believes may affect their health, it is good to ask questions related to culture.