Heritage Assessment Tool

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The uprising of diversified communications has caused the combination of differing cultures. This suggests that dissimilar cultures are no not restricted to geographical boundaries. The noteworthy social drive worldwide has elevated apprehension over tailored health care. It is vital that the cultural backgrounds of a group have influential influences on dealing with health care concerns. The birth of community consciousness concerning awareness of comprehensive healthiness and illness deterrence has stimulated the formation of system that allows it to be uncomplicated for medical specialists to appreciate their patients.

An example of one of these tools is the use of the Heritage Assessment Tool to recover the provenance of a being before the dispensation of health intercession. (Edelman & Mandle, 2010) Heritage is just as distinctive as a human fingerprint. Numerous cultures have exceptional and unique characteristics. Heritage includes the factors employed in ascertaining the religion, sexual orientation, ethics and way of life amongst groups of people. The distinctive cultures of people incorporate the customary health approaches utilized in restoration, maintenance and improvement of soundness amid others.

These notions comprise spiritual, mental and physical faiths. The Heritage Assessment Tool is beneficial with the efficiency of understanding the requirements of a person as a whole before treating a patient. (Edelman & Mandle, 2010) The mileposts fulfilled in national health care have renovated views and perceptions of medical personnel. The standard shift has been outstanding in emphasis of health care services from a fewer competent reactive perspective into a proactive one. This focus change progresses delivering quality health care and disease deterrence.

However, this modification is not adequate in conveying the purposes of health care services without the understanding of the crucial beneficiary of these strategies. Therefore, the providers of health care services must accentuate the dynamic variations surrounding the cultural exchanges essential in modern day context. This has prompted the identification and integration of cultural group patterns and disparities within numerous cultures in an attempt to provide ideal health care at the beneficiary’s benefit. (Edelman & Mandle, 2010)

The Heritage Assessment Tool is a worksheet operated by people in the medical field in order to recognize the standpoint of a patient in respect to culture and beliefs. It’s an accurate method in which the medical professional comprehends the patients prior to beginning any interventions. Ultimately the objective is to diminish disease and ease anguish in the most effectual way that is feasible, it is wise for the licensed practitioner to recognize the utmost comfy actions for the client. (Edelman & Mandle, 2010)

Heritage is whom we are, where we came from and our historical roots. Customarily the word heritage is synonymous to a person’s tradition or background. Every person’s heritage differs between cultures and comprises the revealing one’s ethic, cultural and religious background. (Spector, 2009) The heritage assessment tool aids medical professionals in evaluating somebody’s mental, physical and spiritual principles, which in return aids in clarifying customary health approaches such as health restoration, health maintenance and health protection.

Also, it helps in unlocking a pathway for effective communication between the health care professional and the patient in order for them to better know the patient’s health traditions, cultures and beliefs. The more stronger the bond is between a patient and their traditional heritage, the more optimistic results they will have on the Heritage Assessment Tool and furthermore, their applied interventions. (Spector, 2009) Organizations and health care providers are obligated to conform to state, federal and local protocols concerning cultural diversity and competency of populations and people attended to.

They must refurbish policies and practices that confirm distribution of culturally competent health services to diverse cultures in their community including the peoples who speak little or broken English. Being cognizant of cultural dissimilarities and refining communication decreases risks of negligence, absence of informed consent and failure to comprehend their patients’ health care practices and beliefs. (Diers, 2009) Upon interviewing families from different cultures with the Heritage Assessment Tool, many differences were noted in their interpretations of health maintenance, health restoration and Health protection.

For Example… Hispanic American Culture’s Beliefs… Birth – Delivery and postnatal care is usually provided by a Mid-wife. Female family members will deliver care and support to the mother and newborn for the post-natal period, which is around 40-41 days, when customarily during this time the mother and newborn remain at home. In addition the female family members arrange meals and care for the husband and other children as well. Dying – The priest will give the Sacrament of the Sick; this incorporates confession and communion.

If the person has expired the priest will come and anoint the deceased. The family wants to protect the patient from knowledge of terminal illness, with a strong belief in mind – body connection that worry will worsen progress. An older family member may grip significance of the illness/prognosis. Religious medallions and rosary are to be with the patient. They believe the illness is God’s will or penalty and their solid religious beliefs, prayer, and devotion to Saints may bring healing. Healers, herbal medicine, and the hot and cold theory may be practiced.

Death – The bulk of Hispanics are Roman Catholic. Immediate family usually meets with a priest to discuss funeral services that include a wake with a rosary prayer and mass. After the Mass of Burial, family and friends follow in sequence to the cemetery for the burial. Expressions of grief are fostered. Family and friends will congregate at the family home after the burial to eat and celebrate the deceased life. The one-month and yearly anniversary of the death is celebrated with a mass. (Diers, 2009) The Asian Culture’s Beliefs?

… Asian cultures contain people from China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Philippines, Asian Indians, and Pakistan. Family Involvement – Extended family are very significant. Elders are well respected. Caring for aging parents is written in civil code. It is not unusual for two to three generations to live in the same household. Older people are consulted in decision making for central family matters. Birth – Usually female family members are present during birth. The expectant father and other males do not play an active role.

Dying – Many Asians believe in the balance between Yin and Yang (complimentary opposites within a greater whole that may manifest more strongly in different objects or different times) it is the primary guideline of traditional Chinese medicine. Asians practice preventative care with use of herbal medicine, acupuncture, cupping therapy, yoga, and Tai Chi, as they believe western medicine is too harsh. Korean’s believe in Naikan Therapy of reflection, goodness, and love. Filipino’s believe in “Hilot” a massage healer.

Dementia by Asian cultures may be considered a form of “Madness”, “Loss of Soul”, or “Possession by the Spirits” that will bring shame and stigma to the family. Family prefers to be involved when information is addressed regarding a terminal illness. Usually the eldest male of the family should be present. Family may not want to talk about the terminal illness and prefer the patient not know. Belief in “Fatalism” if you talk about it then it may happen. Death – Families may prefer to bathe their family member after death.

Charms and cloth may be placed on the body. Other Practices – In certain Asian cultures it is customary to remove ones shoes at the door since they eat, sit, or sleep on the floor. Socks should be worn because bare feet are considered offensive. (Diers, 2009) The Arab Culture’s Beliefs… Arab culture comprises people from Jordan, Kuwait, Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, Bahrain, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Sired, Tunisia, United Arab, Yemen and Emirates.

Family Involvement – Family loyalty, honor and respect are very significant. Fathers and elders govern the family. The father has the first and last word. Male children are preferred as they are expected to care for their parents, and daughters will marry to belong to their husband’s family. Big families are common as they bring economic relief and a father’s prestige of masculinity. Women are typically subordinate to men, but to which degree, varies within different Arab countries. Women usually have control in the home and over the children.

Jujus are worn for various reasons for protection from the “evil eye” Birth – The father does not participate and only female family members are present during labor and birth. The mother will only accept a female doctor and staff to assist. Due to modesty the mother prefers to be clothed during labor and the delivery. A woman’s first birth is viewed as initiation into womanhood. A mother is greatly valued and per tradition of the Prophet Muhammad “heaven is underneath the feet of woman” Dying – It is important not to bypass the elder figure as hierarchy has significant value.

Prior funeral arrangements are considered interference of the person’s passing and God’s will. A provider that suggests making prior funeral arrangements is viewed by the family as incompetent. A religious belief is that fate is controlled by the will of God. Arabs may be of Muslim, Christian, or Jewish faith. Death – Death is viewed as having returned to God. Belief that the person’s life is sealed and they will go forward to afterlife for judgment. The body is cleaned, perfumed, and dressed in a white garment by the family.

It is preferred the body be buried the same day or as close as possible to the day of death. Autopsies and cosmetics are usually refused. (Diers, 2009) The importance of cross-cultural understanding plays a central part in this profession. The primary position of health care is to make patients as contented as conceivable throughout the process. A concise knowledge of cultural settings is advantageous in achieving this goal. It will guarantee that measures used are not only satisfactory in the culture of the patient but also effective and comfortable. In addition to The Hippocratic duty in which medical professionals are given the task, it’s their duty to uphold a precise understanding of cultural and individual preferences. (Spector, 2009)


  • Diers, C. (2009). Cultural Competency and Cultural Diversity.
  • Pima Health System: http://www. pimahealthsystem. org/pdf/Cultural%20Diversity_for_Health_Care_Providers_Pamphlet_4-10. pdf
  • Edelman, C. , & Mandle, C. (2010). Health Promotion Throughout the Life Span (7th Edition ed. ) [Louis: Mosby].
  • Spector, R. E. (2009). Cultural Diversity in Health and Illness (7th Edition ed. ).
  • Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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