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Korean Prenatal Care Essay

1116 words - 4 pages

The field of nursing consists of many aspects in terms of care. The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice (AACN, 1998) details the need for culturally competent practice due to changing needs within health care. It describes the nurse's role in providing “care to an increasingly diverse population”. For this assignment we will cover cultural competence of the Korean cultural and prenatal care traditions. According to the University of Hawaii at Hilo, it is important to focus on the comparative study and analysis of different cultures and subcultures in the world, with respect to their caring behavior; nursing care; health-illness values, beliefs and patterns of behavior. In the Korean culture family values tie together heavily with religious beliefs.
Generally Koreans lead a conservative and family-centered life, deeply rooted in Confucianism, which emphasizes harmony within a prescribed hierarchy (Rupnow, 2001). Many Korean Americans, especially older adults, believe practice of religious faith as an effective avenue for prevention and cure. When it comes to forming a family, the Korean culture believes in marriage as a unity of being one. Family welfare is much more important than the needs of the individual. After marriage, the wife moves in with the husband’s family and is responsible to care for his family. After conception, the roles change and the mother of the husband is responsible for the care of the now pregnant wife.
The importance of understanding other cultures has to do a lot with the movement of immigrants into the U.S. It is extremely important for members of the healthcare community to be aware of different aspects of care in other cultures. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2001), Korean Americans now comprise approximately 10% of the Asian population and 0.4% of the total U.S. population. When a woman is pregnant, a common Korean taboo is that she is taught to only look at beautiful things and focus on what is good (Moore,2005). This culture believes, “all that she thinks, sees, and eats influences the shape and feature of the baby (Moore, 2005).” As a nurse, one must take these beliefs into consideration when caring for a patient of this culture. The role of a nurse is to care for the client with respect, not to criticize, and provide the best standard care without interfering with the client’s customs.
Moving on, culture is a set of behaviors beliefs and practices, a value system that is transmitted from one woman in a culture group to another (Simpson & Creehan, 2008). In their Perinatal Nursing book, Simpson and Creehan express repeatedly how culture provides a framework within which woman think, make decisions and act. In the Korean culture, their health requires harmony between heat and cold. “Balance should be maintained for woman to be in harmony with the environment (Simpson & Creehan, 2008).” The culture deeply believes eating hot foods such as spicy...


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