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Guide Questions

Chinese American Culture

QuestionAnswer
What are the challenges when performing physical assessment to patients from this culture? Chinese clients tend to express their emotional problems in somatic terms. They are mostly conservative and may not allow other people to touch them. Most of them are not familiar with Western drug names, dosages and effects
What are the roles of extended family members pertaining to health care decisions or supportive care when family member is ill? The father is the head of the family and makes major decisions. Involving family members in therapy is a challenge since traditional families prohibits free expression of emotions and not equipped with communication skills to express themselves openly.
Are there any dietary restrictions that may affect the health status of the individual? Depending on their religion, some may have dietary restrictions (Taoism, Buddhism) but most Chinese follow the yin yang theory (hot and cold). Food needs to be balanced to create harmonious and healthy state of being.
What health risks is this culture subjected to? The health risks that Chinese Americans mostly suffer are cancer, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, domestic violence and mental health. Most common mental health problems are depression, somatization, anxiety, adjustment disorder and suicide.
What are the adaptations in the usual communication style when interacting with people who belong to this culture? (1) Older generations of Chinese Americans may have difficulty comprehending English since their first language is their mother tongue. It is important to speak in short phrases using simple words. If there is an interpreter, it is better to make use of it.
Languages spoken in Chinese American culture? Since China is huge, there are a number of languages possibly spoken: Mandarin, Cantonese, Wu, Yue and Min.
Are there ethical dilemmas that this culture may encounter more frequently? (1) In this culture, the family exists as the basic unit of society. Individual members make sacrifices for the sake of the family. While in Western culture, the family exists for the development and protection of individual members.
Are there ethical dilemmas that this culture may encounter more frequently? (2) In this culture, there is a well-defined hierarchy of authority wherein the head of the household is the decision maker. In Western culture, equality exists and each individual's opinion is valued and taken into consideration.
Are there ethical dilemmas that this culture may encounter more frequently? (3) Open conflict is often avoided in Chinese culture. The hierarchy defines who may voice the opinion and decision for the family. In Western culture, open conflict is common and a normal way of communication in the family and it is how the dynamics flow.
Are there ethical dilemmas that this culture may encounter more frequently? (4) In Chinese culture, it was found out that they wanted to live with their parents, even they are adults, when they become ill. In Western culture, adults want to live on their own even when they are sick and need attention.
How might you establish a mutually acceptable solution to these dilemmas? As a nurse, a mutually acceptable solution is to respect the choices and decision of the family and their culture. Options should be well presented and explained, but giving them their rights to practice their belief and their culture is important too.
As based on the health risks mentioned in one of the cards above, what can you do to assist your patient to prevent these risks? As a nurse, the best way to assist the patient to prevent these risks, especially the mental health issues, is to constantly monitor and assess the patient. Health teaching is also very important, but still,with respect to their culture.
What is the influence of this culture in the doctor-patient or nurse-patient relationship and communication? Patients from this culture may avoid eye contact, as a sign of respect (since doctors and nurses are considered as authority). They may hesitate to ask questions or voice their opinions to avoid inconvenience to the other person.
What are your adaptations to your communication style? (2) As a nurse, I would encourage the patient to express opinions, and to give a reminder that it is normal to ask questions and voice out opinions. I will respect their practice of not maintaining eye contact, having this knowledge about their culture.
What adaptations are needed to perform a physical assessment to patients from this culture? It is important for me, as the nurse, to guide and assist the patient in determining the possible cause of illnesses, in reinforcement to the physician, with respect to the patient's cultural beliefs. Consent is also needed every time touch is rendered.
Created by: jerla_long