Introduction to Health and Culture





Introduction to Health and Culture

            In America, several methods of treatment are usually administered to the different kinds of patients that there are in the different hospitals and other places. Generally, there is the native method of treatment or healing that is administered to the different patients and there is the modern or the western method of treatment that is usually administered and it is common among many people in America. The people who use the native kind of healing are the native people and the other people use the western kind of healing (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The Office of Minority Health, 2011). However, the two have some differences, which are very vital if they are not taken into consideration.

Using the example of Mr. Wolf, who has been diagnosed with the prostatitis disease, he is a native man who accepts both the use of the western medicine and the native medicine. The health care provider who is treating him prescribes some antibiotics, which he should take so that he can heal. Mr. Wolf agrees to take them in addition to some herbs from the native medicine. As the health care provider, I should consider several differences before commenting or doing anything to Mr. Wolf concerning his decision to use the herbs. One of the differences between the native medicine and the western medicine is that the native medicine concerns itself more with religion as compared to the western medicine, which attaches itself to the scientific method of treatment.

Native Americans care about their religion and they believe that healing has a deep connection with religion when it comes to healing (B. Broome and R. Broome 162). Therefore, as a health care provider I should respect Mr. Wolf’s decision and provide him with a native healer who will be able to prescribe the correct herbs for him to take together with the antibiotics. In addition, I should make sure that the herbs, which have been prescribed to him by the native healer, do not collide with the kind of antibiotics I have prescribed to him.

Another difference between the native medicine and the western medicine that I should take into consideration is during the patient’s treatment. In the native method of healing, the healer usually prays and chants to the gods so that he can maintain a balance because it is believed that when one is sick there is an imbalance. On the other hand, in the western healing, only tests are done to the physical body of the patient. Therefore, I should be very careful with how I am treating Mr. Wolf to ensure that I do not upset him.

The last difference in the two types of healing, which is very important is how the drugs are being administered to the patient and the different modes of communication that are being used in the methods of treating the patient. When treating or healing the patient using the native methods, there are certain gestures that are used in the communication process. If a wrong kind of tone or gesture is used, it might be disrespectful to the patient, the healer and their traditions. On the other hand, in the western method of treatment, there are no gestures or any mode of communications that are needed to treat the patient. Therefore, when treating Mr. Wolf, I should consider this so that I may respect him and his culture.

However, as a health care provider it is my initiative to educate both Mr. Wolf and his wife about the western mode of treatment so that there should be no misunderstanding between them and me. Incase the herbs and the antibiotics that I have prescribed for Mr. Wolf happen to collide, it is my initiative to educate both Mr. Wolf and his wife as to why they have done so and the necessary measures to be taken in order to rectify the situation. On the other hand, it is good to note that I should not condemn there mode of healing and the native healing method while teaching them. Instead, I should try to include some of their practices, which have been proven applicable in the western method of treatment. Therefore, teachings will be helpful to both Mr. Wolf and I towards his treatment.


Works Cited

Broome, B. and Broome, R. “Native Americans: Traditional Healing.” Urologic Nursing. 27.2 (2007): 161-163. Print.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS), The Office of Minority
Health. “American Indian/Alaska Native profile: Indian health service
area map.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS), The Office of Minority. 2011, February 9. Web. 2011, April 20.

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