During clinical time in the nursing program there are many opportunities for students to explore their new found nursing skills. While engaging in patient care responsibilities there are many languages, customs, values, lifestyles, beliefs, and behaviors that will differ from their own. Each patient may need healthcare providers to consider certain aspects in order to provide culturally competent care. There are many cultures that have migrated to the United States over the years including the people of Haiti. There are many aspects of their healthcare ideals that may need to be considered while providing healthcare in the hospital setting. This cultural assessment will consider the healthcare matters of an 81-year-old woman on the post-surgery floor recovering from a colectomy. Her main diagnosis is Diverticulitis and she has been suffering from this condition for many years. In the case of this research, the woman will be called Elsie. She is from Haiti and has recently migrated from America with her family after the earthquake in January of 2010.
Haiti is located in the Caribbean with Cuba to the northwest, Jamaica to the southwest, and Puerto Rico to the east. Ninety five percent of Haitian people are of African descent (Holcomb, Parsons, Giger, & Davidhizar, 1996). The language spoken by the vast majority of Haitians is Creole. The pronunciation and vocabulary are derived largely from French but the syntax is similar to that of other creoles (Brown, 2010). Haiti is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. In 2010 the population was approximately 9.6 million and is expected to increase to 13.4 million in 2050 (Edwards, 2010). It is also projected that some Haitians may try to flee from Haiti in order to get away from the devastation caused by the
earthquake last year. That is the case with Elsie as she has moved here from Haiti with her daughter and her husband.
This large population has dealt with and suffered from several detrimental diseases. Even before the 2010 earthquake, nearly half the causes of deaths have been attributed to HIV/AIDS,
respiratory infections, malaria, meningitis, Tuberculosis, and diarrheal diseases including cholera and typhoid fever. An estimated 5.6% of Haiti's population is infected with HIV Haiti (Castro & Farmer, 2005). A statistical study done by Andrews and Basu concluded that an estimated 800,000 Haitian people will be affected by cholera this year projecting 11,000 more deaths (Andrews & Basu, 2011). Poor sanitation allows bacteria to continue to infect the Haitian people who drink the contaminated water. With the extremely weak sanitary infrastructure, and the favorable environment for indefinite persistence, it seems that cholera will continue to be a threat in Haiti for many years (Andrews & Basu, 2011). Elsie has been tested for HIV/Aids and her test results are negative at this point.
Cultural Health Assessment