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Health Care Challenges And The Hispanic Population

853 words - 4 pages

The United States has been, and is, a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. As

nurses, we must be able to provide competent care by incorporating our patient's cultural

beliefs and practices into their plan of care. The Hispanic population is now the largest

and fastest growing culture in the our country. All across the United States, cities, towns,

and rural areas not known for Hispanic populations have experienced a sharp increase in

the last decade. From the 2010 census, over the past 10 years the Latino population has

increased from 35.3 million in 2005 to 50.5 million in 2010. As the U.S. population

continues to age, so does the Hispanic; in 2000, older Hispanics ...view middle of the document...

Many Hispanics have

cultural beliefs and values that conflict with traditional western health care views, which

leads to a failure to access care. For example, the Hispanic belief that physical and mental

illness is a result of the imbalance between person and environment, and hot and cold.

Without the ability to understand and communicate, some Hispanics are less

likely to understand or take advantage of preventative measures, such as pap smears,

breast exams, and physical, dental, and eye checkups. This can even lead to a continued

decline of health habits and status the longer the stay in the United States is, and each

succeeding generation will have a lowered health status.

Hispanic women are more committed to the well-being of the family than they are

to their own health, but unlike a majority of women, Hispanic women focus only on the

health of the husband and children, and almost totally disregard their own. When a family

member is diagnosed with a disease, many accept it as a judgement or punishment for

something they have done; as a good wife and mother, they must not complain, but accept

the illness. Hispanic males, due to their culture, tend to be much more stoic - they may

complain of a headache or stomachache, but the symptoms are a result of family situation

or other issue rather than an illness. The Hispanic male is highly prone to stress, being

separated from wife and children while trying to support them financially.

Nurses will be often times the first health care provider that comes into direct care

with Hispanics. One way to address this is to increase the number of Spanish-speaking

nurses so that...

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