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Health is defined as the balance of the person, both within one’s being and in the outside world. Among Chinese, no translation exists for “sadness”, yet it is a universal emotion. Asian-Americans somaticize their symptoms into bodily symptoms. Some Asians believe in the yin/yang theory where health exists when all aspects of the person are in perfect balance (Jarvis, 2016, Chapter 2) . To know Asian-American culture can help to appropriately assess your patient.
Asian-Americans are an incredibly diverse population. Asian-American women have some of the highest life expectancy of any group in the United States. Cultural beliefs often collide with Western medicine. Asian-Americans still face the same limitations to good health as other ethnic groups (“Minority women’s health,” 2012) . Asian-Americans tend to consult their family members on health care matters which can delay treatment. Questions about traditional methods being used should be asked. Avoid stereotyping, do not make assumptions when in doubt, ask questions (Harrah, 2013) .
Violence can happen to all women of all races. Asian-Americans are reluctant to seek help with abuse from the police. In this culture seeking help is seen as shameful to the victim and victim’s family. Many Asian men deal with the pressures of life by physically abusing their wives. In a survey conducted by the Asian & Islander Institute on Domestic Violence, 41% to 60% of Asian-American and Pacific Islander respondents reported physical or sexual abuse during their lifetime. Nurses can play an important role in addressing this. Many women report that they were never asked about abuse in their assessment screening. Establishing trust and projecting a non-judgmental attitude is essential. Nurses have a duty to treat each person with respect and compassion, listening without judgment. Assessing this 20-year old’s habits on substances also would be an avenue for education, living on college campuses with the high use of alcohol increases the chances of abuse (“Minority women,” 2013) . Nurses should be familiar with the abuse hot lines that can protect the women and her children. Providing these numbers can empower the women when she is ready.
Harrah, S. (2013). Doctors and diversity: improving healthcare for asian americans. Retrieved from https://www.umhs-sk.org/blog/doctors-and-diversity-health-care-for-asian-americans-pacific-islanders/Caribbean-Medical-Schools
Jarvis, C. (2016). Cultural competence. In Physical examination and health assessment (7th ed., pp. 11-26). Retrieved from elsevier ebooks
Minority women and intimate partner violence. (2013). Retrieved from http://minoritynurse.com/minority-women-and-intimate-partner-violence/
Minority women’s health. (2012). Retrieved from https://www.womenshealth.gov/minority-health/asian-americans/
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