United States

Respond to discussion post. 2 paragraphs with 2 references less than 5 years. 

The United States has always been known as a country that has been built on immigration. In the past, immigrants strived to adapt and assimilate to the culture of America but as of recently, a shift towards cultural preservation has been made. Conservation of one’s unique cultural aspects, values, and beliefs has taken precedence over traditional integration (Vidaeff, A., Kerrigan, A. & Monga, M., 2015). Due to this change, there is a growing need for nurse practitioners to have an understanding beyond traditional believes of American culture. Practitioners must be able to identify and adapt to cultural values, beliefs, and practices to provide effective  competent care. Culturally competent care is defined as a combination of academic and interpersonal skills that allow a practitioner to have an enhanced understanding and appreciation of cultural differences and similarities among groups (Langley, A., Gridda, M., Henning, S., Massey, D., 2020). Being a more culturally competent practitioner will help build better patient relationships and promotes better patient outcomes.

Epidemiology is recognized as “the study of the distribution and determinates of health-related status or events in specified populations” (Macha & McDonough, pg.1) Historically, the study of epidemiology has been focused around white, heterosexual, upper class, males. Having this narrow focus has led to many overlooked health disparities amongst a variety of populations. In recent years, the recognition of social inequalities has become apparent in health science as a primary barrier to population health promotion (Allen & Lewis, 2020). With the acknowledgement of health care inequalities and disparities amongst ethnicities, sexes, and sexual preferences, epidemiology and the health care industry have started to broaden their scopes of practice towards a more diversified focus. This shift has led to the development of the concept multiculturism. Multiculturism was developed to encourage awareness of diversity, changing demographics, and attention to the needs of unique populations (Vidaeff et al. 2015). 

I come from a 2nd generation Italian American family. The Italian culture has always been a huge part of my life. Our culture is heavily influenced by the Roman Catholic church and most of our gatherings revolve around food. Family is very important in Italian culture and they are usually your biggest support group. When it comes to caring for sickness, Italians can be very superstitious and believe in the use many home or natural remedies to help care for common ailments. You may receive garlic for a cold, apple cider vinegar for a sore throat, and bread and butter for an upset stomach. There is usually nothing that a bowl of pasta fagioli cannot fix. Although some of these treatments have not been clinically proven, they can be respected and understood as a practitioner. Being culturally sensitive and adaptive can help a provider have a better understanding of cultural diversity and build stronger relationships with their patients.