The Cultural Heritage Assessment tool is created with an intention to access the way different cultures conduct their daily activities. It has a vital role considering social, economic, and health promotion. The use of these tools is significant in helping health care providers to understand the patient’s traditional health methods used to maintain health. Heritage tools are concerned with health restoration, protection, and maintenance in broad terms. It focuses on basic social issues such as religion, health or family background. This tool helps to gauge the living standards of an individual and understand certain health conditions that different people from different cultures may suffer. It also helps to predict possible actions of an individual (Hockings, 2006). This means that a heritage assessment tool is instrumental in explaining human behavior judging from their specific cultural practices. Three families were interviewed to analyze the usefulness of this tool. This essay is, therefore, about findings of Heritage Assessment tool.
The family interviews were different in terms of lifestyle and many other aspects. Differences in American, Romanian and Hispanic cultural heritage were compared in this paper. The interviews were analyzed to show possible explanations of family differences in spiritual and traditional values considering health maintenance, protection, and restoration. The interviewees were suggested to respond to the following questions:
- What do you do when you are suffering from headache?
- Where do you get water to drink?
- What course of action do you take when a society member is unwell?
- Do you use mosquito’s nets?
- Do health institutions around your home area provide you with free condoms?
- How far is the nearest medical center from your home?
- Have you been vaccinated in the childhood?
- Do you practice your traditional religion?
- Does your culture allow you to apply to modern medication whenever you are ill?
- Have you ever applied witchcraft as a health restoration method?
- Identify common health traditions in your area?
- Which health programs do you consider as effective ones in your area?
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The findings of this assessment clearly showed that different cultures approach the idea of health promotion, maintenance, and restoration differently. In this sense, the Americans migrate from their native homeland, for example, from Mexico to New York. Mexican beliefs about health and death are different from those of other cultures. In fact, Mexicans believe death to be a spiritual issue that every individual must go through. The lower class of African Americans in the US also has a different belief system. Their cultural heritage regards a good life as the basis for good health. They place special emphasis on protecting their bodies from the cold and keeping it clean. The traditional African American culture believes that there exist natural illnesses, which play a central role in their society. This is the role of social control in the traditional community of African Americans (Spector, 2004). They also create significant clinical implications to their belief considering the process of blood functioning. They believe that blood plays an important role and has clinical applications. Lower class African Americans also believe in the existence of unnatural diseases. According to them these diseases cannot be cured by any modern doctors but only traditional witch doctors.
The culture of Romania in its health related practices outlaws the contraception. Most children of the Romanian population spend their childhood in the children orphanages considering the economic hardships in the country. The cultural Health Assessment tool clearly shows a sharp contrast in the traditional systems of their culture. They believe in the use of herbal medicine to cure diseases. Normally, they use herbal medicine when convectional treatment methods fail to respond appropriately.
According to the cultural practices of the Spanish, the response from my respondents shows that they apply to traditional medical methods of medication whenever the modern methods do not work. The Spanish respect for mothers who have received newborns cannot be ignored. The respondents believe in curses if they do not honor women, who have given a birth to a baby. Such a traditional practice can greatly affect the view and approach to health issues such as health maintenance and restoration.
As reflected by interviewing the three different families, it is so vivid and clear that different cultural heritage affects the intensity of health issues in any given traditional community. It is also evident that the communities traditional believe affects their current projects to restore and maintain health. The respondents from local families that were not modernized are likely to depict attributes of being conservative and resist changes that are coming with the developing, technological world (Nath, 1999). Different cultural societies not only in the United States but the whole world perceive modern methods of medication differently. For example, The Romanians may not allow blood transfusion since blood is associated with traditional functions.
In conclusion, it is undisputable that different cultural heritages have varied approaches to health restoration, maintenance, and protection at large. The beliefs and traditions of different community members have a profound effect on the health of the community. Perhaps medical and social workers should analyze the cultural heritage practices of all communities before preparing the possible methods to improve the health services in those specific communities. These beliefs influence the applied types of health services in the community and recreational activities at large.
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