Heritage Assessment



Fundamentally,the provision of health care must be specific to the needs of allpatients despite their race, gender, ethnicity, and religions. It isespecially important to pay attention to patients’ cultural andtraditional values in order to foster compliance with treatment.Today, most people from different cultures have mingled within theirsociety nevertheless, there are still those who have kept their deeprooted customs, cultural practices, and beliefs. Inherently, theheritage assessment tool can help nursing practitioners to understandthe health care needs of patients with diverse cultural backgrounds(Upvall &amp Leffers, 2014). Correspondingly, knowledge of thepatients’ cultural traditions allows providers of health care tobecome more competent in the diverse cultural backgrounds theyencounter on a daily basis. Effectively, competency allows healthcare providers to improve their delivery of services, resulting inmore positive clinical outcomes. This paper reviews African American,Chinese, and Indian cultures using the heritage assessment tools.

Importanceof a Tool in Evaluating the Needs of the WholePerson

Inprinciple, a heritage assessment tool is important due to the factthat it allows health care providers to better understand the cultureof their patients, as well as how it might affect their response totreatment. In turn, this knowledge allows health care givers toprovide care that is satisfactory to the health practices andlifestyle that the patients practice, leading to positive results inhealth care delivery.

Inaddition, the tool allows health care providers to gain an adequateunderstanding of their patients’ cultural backgroundscorrespondingly, this makes it possible for the practitioners tosimultaneously balance medical practice and the traditional culturesof the patients. Doing so strikes a balance between traditional andmodern cultures. In addition, it allows health care providers tofactor the preferences and needs of the patients into treatment,which, in a way, is respect the values and traditions of thepatients. Effectively, developing the respect for diverse cultures isthe only way that health care providers can manage to satisfactorilyprovide medical assistance to communities that hold their traditions,beliefs, and cultures close (Spector, 2002). Besides, the heritageassessment tool allows health care givers to develop aculturally-oriented linguistic competence, which is helpful sincecaregivers interact with individuals from diverse culturalbackgrounds on a daily basis.

Interviewsof Three Families From Different Cultures

AfricanAmerican Culture

Fundamentally,an assessment of African American culture reveals that the group’sculture greatly influences their health and lifestyle. For instance,most African Americans have a tradition of consuming fast foods, suchas deep fried chicken, which are unhealthy and often lead to healthcomplications — this is marked by elevated levels of obesity andchronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, among black peoplein America. Also notable, is that most African Americans are deeplyreligious this is essential for allowing them to maintain goodspiritual health (Spector, 2002). Correspondingly, health carepractitioners can take advantage of this culture by joining religiousgroups in their health campaigns in black communities. In such amanner, it is quite evident that African Americans are graduallyembracing modern health care and services mainly through churches andother religious factions nonetheless, it is also equally importantto note that this group also values its traditional medicines highly(Spector, 2002). Inherently, this finding is supported by prevailingresearch, which shows that African Americans highly valueself-treatment, as they are often skeptical of modern medicine.Intrinsically, I am black with regards to race — my parents areoriginally from Haiti — and I can confidently agree that eatingtraditions, religion, and the culture of self-medication have asignificant impact on the health of African Americans. Overall,African Americans usually subscribe to these cultures and traditionsthrough several ways for instance, they usually live in communitieswhere religion is highly valued, hence ensuring that they maintaintheir belief that religion facilitates overall health.


TheIndian culture also has its own set of beliefs, customs, andtraditions that affect the lifestyles of Indians, as well as themanner in which they interact with modern culture. An interesting andunique aspect of the Indian tradition is how Indians interact withguests they hold them in high esteem, which makes them moreopen-minded to doctors’ remarks. In addition, the Indian culture ismarked by a high regard for religion Indians have various gods andgoddesses whom they pray to for health (Upvall &amp Leffers, 2014).Moreover, the Indian culture holds an individual’s health to be asum of the health of an individual’s mind, body, and soul in fact,Indians view health holistically and view it as the restoration ofone’s physical, psychological, and spiritual states. Besides,maintaining health in this tradition is a family effort (Indians aremore communal and identify themselves more as a group than asindividuals) families are expected to prepare traditionally acceptedfoods that are healthy for all family members (Sagar, 2014).

Alsoworth noting is the fact that Indians tend to strive to balancetraditional and modern medicine in order to ensure their health andgeneral wellness. Nevertheless, families have a generalpreference/inclination to traditional or herbal medicines, and onlyresort to modern treatments as the final measure. Some of the mostpopular traditional treatments still used in India today areacupuncture, homeopath, and Ayurveda (Upvall &amp Leffers, 2014).Another important thing is that Indians are traditionally veryconservative in such a manner, they are comfortable or prefer beingtreated by a member of the same sex than an opposite one (Sagar,2014). Overall, Indian families based in the United States subscribeto the aforementioned cultures by seeking traditional medicines andretaining familial responsibility for the health of all familymembers — most Indians live as an extended family where everymember is responsible for each other’s wellbeing.


Chineseculture is firmly rooted in the use of traditional medicine,especially due to the fact that it is strongly linked to overallChinese spirituality, customs, and values. Some examples of popularChinese treatments are acupuncture, the use of herbs, and cupping. Inaddition, the Chinese tradition and culture views healingholistically it considers complete recovery from disease as therestoration of total body balance of the mind, body, and soulfurthermore, it stresses that proper health is achieved throughstriking a balance between the yin and yang of a person’s body, andthat imbalances in this system are the reasons for disease (Upvall &ampLeffers, 2014). Moreover, the Chinese are highly proud of their foodand consider it largely responsible for a long healthy life. Today,Chinese families subscribe to these traditions by continuing to useancient Chinese treatments and diets even when in America.

Conclusively,the common health traditions between the African American, Indian,and Chinese culture is that all practice eating habits that largelydetermine health outcomes. In addition, all three traditions consideroverall health to be a factor of more than just one’s physicalaspect — it also consists of the balancing of other aspects, suchas spiritual status. Moreover, all three cultures demonstrate areasonable balance between traditional medicine and moderntreatments. However, the Chinese and Indian cultures are more similarin regards to health they both practice traditional treatmentmethods, and have a holistic view of health — they consider it abalance of body, mind, and soul. Besides, they consider traditionalfoods to be a vital source of health.


Sagar,P. L. (2014).&nbspTransculturalnursing education strategies.New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, LLC.

Spector,R. E. (2002). Cultural diversity in health and illness.&nbspJournalof Transcultural Nursing,&nbsp13(3),197-199.

Upvall,M. J., &amp Leffers, J. (2014).&nbspGlobalhealth nursing: Building and sustaining partnerships.New York: Springer Publishing Company.