The Hispanic ethnic group comprises approximately sixteen percent of the United States
population. Hispanic, also commonly referred to Latinos, is composed of diverse with several
different cultures, values, races and nationalities. A profile of their health conditions reveal that
they suffer from obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus as well as stress, tuberculosis and some
form of neurological conditions. A physician providing healthcare services to this ethnic group
should that there is strong belief in the use of alternative medicine and traditional folk illnesses.
Patients are known to seek the help of traditional healers such as wizards or witches, herbalists,
bone setters (hueseros), and midwives (parteras). Also, certain symptoms are considered onset of
certain cultural presuppositions (Juckett, 2013). For instance, anxiety may be interpreted as loss
of soul, abdominal pain as indigestion. The treatments provided by these practitioners are mostly
harmless except in extreme cases of using dangerous and toxic substances such as lead salts and
mercury to treat abdominal pain.
African-Americans are another diverse ethnic group in the United States that resulted for
the intermixing of people from West and Central Africa, West Indies, South America through
slave trade. The health conditions prevalent among this group include obesity, hypertension,
stroke, diabetes mellitus and cancer. As enumerated earlier, the major health conditions of Africa
American are as a result of their diet. Anderson et al. emphasized that the abundance of fast food
restaurants in most low income communities, high cost of food prices, poverty and poor access
to the quality and affordable meal has largely contributed to this illness among the ethnic group.
In spite of having lived in United States, the use of traditional health practice is still common
among this ethnic group. Faith and spiritual healing and use of roots and herbs are the common
traditional healing methods used by Africa-Americans. Also there is a common notion that ill
health is a sign of disharmony in the human body and the restoration of one’s health can be only
be achieved by seeking harmony with nature.
These ethnic groups have strong religious orientations especially among Christians and
Muslims. By applying Standard 1 of CLAS, the nurse will be able to understand that the patient
believes that there is a correlation between good health and good religious practice. An effective
to use this is to engage in indirect conversation about religion that may provide the necessary
information required (Anderson et al., 2003). For instance, the nurse can ask the patient where
he/she receives support during difficult periods in their lives. The most likely immediate answer
will either be the church or mosque. The conversation will provide an avenue for further
exploration of health beliefs of the patient and the influence of the patient’s faith on their health
Anderson, L. M., Scrimshaw, S. C., Fullilove, M. T., Fielding, J. E., Normand, J., & Task Force
on Community Preventive Services. (2003). Culturally Competent Healthcare Systems: A
Systematic Review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 24(3), 68-79.
Campinha-Bacote, J. (2011). Delivering Patient-Centered Care in the Midst of a Cultural
Conflict: The Role of Cultural Competence. The Online Journal of Issues in
Giger, J. N., Davidhizar, R. E., & Turner, G. (1991). Black American Folk Medicine Health Care
Beliefs: Implication for Nursing Plans of Care. The ABNF journal: Official Journal of the
Association of Black Nursing Faculty in Higher Education, Inc, 3(2), 42-46.
Juckett, G. (2013). Caring for Latino Patients. American Family Physician,87(1).
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