The Latino population that reside in the US have several cultural beliefs and values which are very important for the US Healthcare delivery system to understand and take into account. The policy makers should be aware of the various cultural characteristics that the Latino population develops. Family relationships form a very important part of the Hispanic culture, and frequently it is found that the Latin population would be staying together in the US as a very strong family. Hence, the entire family would be taking strong care of the pregnant women and her child.
The family members would be advising the mother to sleep well, consume a nutritious diet and take a relaxing walk. The family members would be preventing the pregnant woman from smoking, doing heavy exercises, consuming alcohol and using medications. Pregnant women are given a lot of respect in the Latino culture and during this period a lot of care is given to them. The Hispanics consider pregnancy to be a very normal phenomenon. They would be frequently seeking prenatal management and the healthcare units.
However, they also feel that pregnancy does not require any kind of extra-ordinary treatment. During the pregnancy the mother is given want she craves to eat, as they feel that any refusal would result in the baby developing birthmarks. The mother is given several traditional teas to reduce the pain that develops during labor. The mother is not allowed to move around during an eclipse as the baby is at a high-risk of developing cleft lip and cleft palate. The pregnant women would be considering putting a red band around her waist to prevent the baby from developing cleft lip or cleft palate.
Usually, the pregnant woman’s mother or the mother-in-law would be available to the pregnant woman during her pregnancy as a supportive measure. The pregnant woman is also advised to walk during the period as the baby in the womb is bound to stick to the wall of the uterus. Medical interventions such as medications administration are not advisable during their pregnancy. The mother would approach the healthcare unit for nursing care late during the labor stage. During the postpartum period, the mother is given certain Home remedies known as ‘purgantes’, which effectively prevent the development of postpartum depression.
The woman is advised to take adequate rest during the nursing period and is also expected to take care of the child (Hawaii Community College, 2005). In the US, about 54 % of the Hispanic elders belong to the Mexican groups; about 14 % belong to the Cuban, and the remaining to the other Spanish-speaking nations. About 5 %of all the Hispanic Americans belong to the elder’s age group, as on in the year 1990. However, with an increase in the life span, and more number of migrations to the US, there is an increase in the Hispanic elder group in the US.
About one-fifth of the elders belonging to the Hispanic group are living below the poverty line. They are facing a lot of discrimination due to the social and economic status, poor education levels, high unemployment rates, lack of security, etc. They are deprived of proper healthcare facilities and a majority of them do not have insurance coverage. About 28 % of the Hispanic elders have a very poor health status. About 85 % had a long-standing health problem and about half of them were not able to function properly due to disease.
Studies have shown that the health problems begin earlier in the Hispanic groups compared to the White population. The life span of the Hispanic groups is between 55 to 60 years. They visit the physician only if the health problem becomes severe or life threatening. They do not believe in preventive medicine. Although the elders require institutional care, about 10 % are institutionalized. This is about 23 % in the White population. One reason for low institutionalized rates is because the children provide care for the parents in their old age as per the customs and traditions.
Many of the Hispanic elders receive home care even in the dying stages of life. The family ties with elders are quite high compared to the White population. The children would be offering economic and financial help to the elders. Besides, socially, the Hispanic communities respect the elders, and many positive interactions are generated between the community members and the elders. Even widows and widowers are given a lot of support by their family members, and this would help them (Socrates, 2007). The Hispanic populations are experiencing several problems in the US arising from disability and lack of provision of education.
Poor research has been done by the healthcare authorities in the US, to understand the health needs of the disabled Hispanic population and providing them with adequate rehabilitative services. NGO’s and governmental organizations have not collaborated in an effort to provide an efficient network to help the disabled Hispanic population. The problems that the Hispanic disabled population are facing are much similar to that of the other ethnic minority groups. Their socio-economic situation may be very poor and their living conditions may be very bad indeed. Educational levels and the lifestyle may be detrimental to their health needs.
Many of the disabled children may leave school, as they are unable to manage their problems. In the US, about 20 % of the Hispanic population are disabled. The Hispanic disabled groups are not provided with proper rehabilitative, educational, vocational, or health services. A lot of research needs to be conducted by the health authorities to determine their health needs, and accordingly develop a system that could aid them. The outcome of rehabilitative services for the disabled should be improved. Factors that result in a poor outcome should be identified and addressed appropriately.
Language and cultural barriers also need to be addressed. Healthcare professionals need to become more culturally competent. Professionals belonging to the Hispanic populations should be recruited in the healthcare system to help disabled individuals. A social network should be formed which could help the disabled populations. Besides, educational and vocational training programs should also be organized (Wong-Hernandez, 1997). Hence, it can be found that at present the Hispanic population is not utilizing the US healthcare system extensively to solve their health problems.
Their health status at the moment is very poor and their health needs are high. The health department should develop a strong health policy that could help the Hispanic population with special needs. Healthcare personnel who are culturally competent should be employed. They should be able to interact in the local language and also understand their problems, beliefs, values and attitudes. This would give the Hispanic population greater confidence in the healthcare system and utilize it more frequently.
This would also help to improve their health status and subsequently lead to increased use of preventive and family medicine. References: Arons, B. & Chavez, N. (2001, January), Cultural Competence Standards in Managed Care Mental Health Services: Four Underserved/Underrepresented Racial/Ethnic Groups, Retrieved on July, 24, 2007, from SAMHSA Web site: http://mentalhealth. samhsa. gov/publications/allpubs/SMA00-3457/intro. asp Griggs, Shirley, and Dunn, R. (1995). Hispanic-American Students and Learning Style. Emergency Librarian 23 (2, Nov-Dec): 11-16. http://library.
adoption. com/education/hispanic-american-students-and-learning-style/article/4281/1. html Hawaii Community College (2005), Hispanic, Retrieved on July 24, 2007, from Hawaii Community College Web site: http://www. hawcc. hawaii. edu/nursing/RNHispanic_04. html National Alliance for Hispanic Health, Duran, D. G. , Reyes, C. , Villarruel, A. , Brana-Lopez, A. R. , Gomez, P. , Mora, J. , & Paz, J. (2001). Quality Health Services for Hispanics: The Cultural Competency Component. DHHS, no. 99-21. ftp://ftp. hrsa. gov/hrsa/QualityHealthServicesforHispanics. pdf Purves, H.
(2003), Cultural Factors & the Health of North Carolina Latinos. North Carolina Institute of Medicine Web site: http://www. nciom. org/projects/latino/latinopub/C3. pdf Socrates (2007), Hispanic American Elderly, Retrieved on July 24, 2007, from Socrates Web site: http://socrates. berkeley. edu/~aging/ModuleMinority2. html Wong-Hernandez, L. (1997), Building Networks in the Latino Community: A Mechanism for Empowerment, Retrieved on July 24, 2007, from San Jose State University Foundation Web site: http://www. dinf. ne. jp/doc/english/Us_Eu/ada_e/pres_com/pres-dd/lucywong. htm
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