Asian American Culture about Health

AsianAmerican Culture about Health

AsianAmerican Culture about Health

TheAsian American society first came to American earlier than some ofthe immigrants. As of the year 2008 the Asian American made apopulation of about 5%. Asian Americans are among the fast growingethnic community in the United States. Most of the people do notunderstand the Asian American culture in fact, people have a lot ofpeople stereotypes the American community. Being an Asian does notnecessarily mean that a person is an Asian American. The AsianAmerican community consists of many immigrants from differentcountries from the Asian part of the world. Asian Americans consistof the Indians, Japanese, Chinese, Filipinos, among many others. Itis therefore, wrong to generalize the Asian Americans as the same.Another theory that most people believe is that the Asian Americanare all foreigners, this is not correct almost of the AsianAmericans are Americans by birth.

Thefamily structure of the Asian Americans is among the most complicatedthat a nurse or any other person should understand before involvingthem in discussions, and treatments.Lisa Lowe. (1996) explains thatalthough Most of the Asian Americans culture is different dependingon the countries of their origins, it is imperative to note that mostof them are the same. The responsibilities of the Asian Americanculture are that which is passed from the father to son, an elderbrother to the young brother, and finally a husband to a wife. In theAsian American cultures, women are given the responsibility ofraising and nurturing the family in perspective. It is always seenthat a mother is expected to favor the eldest son over the husband(Hildebrand, Phonic, Gray, and Hines 2000). The Asian Americanfamilies are divided into transnational families, extended families,nuclear families and multiple nuclear families.

Dueto the difference in cultural beliefs, the Asian American culturealso has different beliefs about parenting and also pregnancy.Pregnancy in the Asian culture is considered as happiness point ofthe mothers in their body. The mothers at this time are driven bysome beliefs that soy sauce at this time of pregnancy can lead to adark skinned baby the mother prefers taking soup, milk is alwaysexcluded in the diet because it is believed to cause distress.Fathers are not allowed to actively participate in the labor of thewomen. Bath of a boy is preferred and sometimes the giving of name ISdelayed especially in the Vietnamese culture. In the rearing of theirkids, the Asian American communities view that the mothers are thesubordinate support to the children with the fathers being the fullyresponsible for raising the kids. In the Asian American culture,children are viewed as the extension of their mothers and aretherefore well taken care of. The Asian American parents have anauthoritarian rearing to their children where the parents show lowsupport and high control over their children.

Atkinsonand Gim (1989) state that inAsian American culture, followers of Buddhism believes thateverything is fate and is bound to happen. Asian culture dictatesthat fate is predetermined whether good or bad. Most of the AsianAmericans originating from Asia and followers of Buddhism believesthat there exist a wheel of life that goes on being born, grown up toold age, getting sick and finally to death. To Asian Americans,nobody can escape death, sickness. The Asian Americans just like manyother cultures believes in the reincarnation.

AsianAmerican Culture has almost totally different beliefs about healthand illness. Most of the Asian Americans believe in the traditionalhealing when it comes to sickness. What is important to note thatmost of the Asian American people believe that nobody can escapeillness and that it is an ore-determined occurrence that isunpassable? American medical practitioners must, therefore,understand the Asian culture before venturing into health practicesinvolving the Asian Americans. The Asians has an approach to healththat, a body is a whole and that all the parts are intimatelyconnected. The organs have both mental and physical functions. Theybelieve health revolves around the cosmic forces and the internalbody organs. The treatment procedure in the Asian American cultureinvolves herbal medication, therapeutic massage, acupuncture, anddermabrasion. Most of the Asian Americans view mental illness ascaused due to traditional medicine and religious beliefs.

AsianAmericans mostly composed of the Chinese employ different kind ofdiet and diet ways as compared to other cultures. The Asian Americanshave different food habits to those of other cultures. Thecomposition of most of their meals is mainly rice with vegetable andlittle to no meat. Cooking techniques also differ from other culturesmostly the techniques are stir-frying, barbecuing, deep frying andsteaming. Given that most of their diet is based on the plants theAsian people don`t suffer from some serious chronic illness.

Mostpeople have stereotyped as the Asian Americans as people who don`trespect and take care of their elders. The latest research by AARPsuggests that just like many cultures the Asian Americans also valuetheir elders. Most of the Asian Americans (73%) view that care fortheir parents is required of them. From the research, almost twicethe total number of the population is in the field of taking care ofthe elders.

Finally,the Asian Americans communication pattern is one of the importantaspects that every medical practitioner must take care of because ofthe uniqueness. The communication patterns of the Asian Americans areto reinforce traditionally and the cultural beliefs. The patterns areto promote harmonious social interaction. Most of their communicationis done by non-verbal methods, silence, facial expressions, bodymovements, eye contact among others. Some of the important forms ofnon-verbal communications include the touching of the Asian kidshead this is considered a threat and, therefore, should be avoidedby all means by medical practitioners.

Asa nurse, therefore, must understand the Asian American culture beforeemploying any care in a collection of data, diagnosing problems andplanning of care. When collecting data about the sickness, as a nurseit is important to consult the fathers because the Asian Americanculture views the as the head of the family, this would help todiagnose the problem and help in planning the taking care of thesick. As a nurse, it is also important that most of the AsianAmerican culture value herbal medicine and therefore while planningfor care the nurse must consider herbal medication in his/her plan.The nurses while carrying her/his assessment, diagnosing, planningand implementing must do all this according to the culture of theAsian American culture appropriately. A nurse may diagnose scientifictreatment, but according to the Asian American culture that valuestraditional treatment, the nurse must consult the client and gethis/her consent.

APPLICATIONQUESTIONS1)An extended family living arrangement when the 81year-old-grandmother suffered a stroke with severe hemiparesis. Howwould you care for the client (assessment, diagnosis and plan)?A).The Asian culture requires that when a family member is ill, thesiblings plan and take care her in her old age. Therefore, withregard to the sickness of the 81 year old extended family member, Iwould give my judgment about the problem by checking the relatedfactors and the cultural implication of the same. I would then planfor the help by considering the culture beliefs the most importantbeing the requirement that the sick be cared for by family members.Given that the culture is based on using non-scientific methods Iwould suggest the use of acupuncture or use of the drugs like valium.I would involve the extended family in the process to understand whatto do in case of re-occurrence.

2)A new immigrant couple who gave birth to their first child at 28weeks gestation. How would you care for the client and the family(assessment, diagnosis and plan)?

B).The joy of getting a child is always immense regardless of whether itis a still birth or born and successful delivery. Therefore,culturally the immigrant couple will require support from theirfriends and the doctors too to make it through their situationraising their kid. I would assess the couple by interviewing themother how she feels, and take her through therapy to understand whatshe is going through. I would do diagnosing then by measuring herglucose level, body weight and the general condition to check thehealth of the baby. I would, therefore, plan the treatment base onthe finding but first knowing the culture to know what would be goodfor her according to her culture that is viable.

3)A nuclear family consisting of both parents and teenage children. Dadis a new diabetic. How would you care for the client &amp family(assessment, diagnosis and plan)?

C).culturally, the nuclear family regards every member of the family asimportant. I would assess the father by his level of body sugar. Iwould then recommend the best to solve the issue of his condition. Iwould, therefore, plan his treatment in a way better to help himinvolving the family in the decision.

2.The questions for my assessment should be directed to the Asianshould be directed to the Asian American group looking at theirfamily and what they consider is good for them. The questions shouldfollow the culture beliefs so that they are not offended

3.Some of the diagnoses that are sensitive to the Asian Americanculture are scientific diagnoses. The culture value herbal diagnosisand there for the diagnosis should be based on tradition. Anotherdiagnosis that is sensitive to the differential diagnosis, the Asianculture do not like giving out their historical background andtherefore, comparing the family experience might not be welcomed.Finally, diagnosis based on religion would be sensitive to a scale ofthe Asian American culture because of their beliefs.

4.For the Asian Americans, the plan of providing care should be basedon the cultural beliefs, health beliefs and hierarchy in the family.A nurse should, therefore, consider consulting the clients on thebest method of treatment first. When the client agrees, then thetreatment can be applied.

5.Care should be provided based on the health beliefs of the AsianAmerican culture. The Asia American culture group values herbal carefor example Acupuncture. Also, the food habits should be consideredbase on food that are little to no meat.


Atkinson,D. R., &amp Gim, R. H. (1989). Asian-American cultural identity andattitudes toward mental health services. Journalof Counseling Psychology,36(2),209.

LisaLowe. (1996). Immigrantacts: on Asian American cultural politics.Duke University Press.

Uba,L. (2003). AsianAmericans: Personality patterns, identity, and mental health.Guilford Press.