Describe the religious beliefs and remedies influencing the Latino patient in the USA
The term Latino is always referred to as a linguistic community, and not the one sharing one culture. This group is diverse with there ancestors originating from the Central American, Caribbean, and S. American countries (Stone, 85). On the other hand, the assorted use of Latino and Hispanic terms in literature is always attributed to diversity of sub-groups of the Cuban American, Mexican American, and Puerto Rican populations within broader context. A regional and state difference that uses the terms are usually found or noted in Southwest. For instance, the identifiers Mexican American or Hispanic are mostly used in Texas whereby there is a large Mexican American population. Generally, the term Latino will always emphasize the Latin American origin. Even though the Hispanics shared a very strong heritage including the religion and family, Each Hispanic population subgroup had a distinct cultural customs and beliefs. The older members of the group were therefore respected and other family relatives among them thus consulted often on crucial and important matters that involved the illness and health. Fatalistic information’s and views was shared by most of Hispanic patients who termed illness as the will or divine punishment from God and it was brought about with current or previous sinful character according to their views. The patients in Hispanic always prefer using the home remedies and might also consult folk healer called a curandero.
In recent decades, the Latinos populations have generally increased. The births and immigrations of the Latinos contributed heavily on the U.S half population growth in 2000. The Latinos were estimated to be over 15 percent of total U.S population. Moreover, starting in 1990s, they moved out of their ancestral or traditional areas where they had settled and dispersed widely throughout United States (Fadem, 88). The population change and growth in the settlement patterns were coupled with the disparities in the Latinos Health having challenged the providers of healthcare across the US so as to provide a high quality care for the growing population. For the group of Latinos who moved or migrated from other countries, the medical professional’s expectations and the services are based on the experiences in home country that might also affect the health seeking behaviors. For example, in Mexico, access to health care by the poor is limited. Some of them always wonder how ironical it is to acquire or access healthcare in the U.S when they could not access it back home in Mexico. In their home country, patients are at times not attended to their needs in home country (Martha & Sana, 78). Surprisingly, they come to America and then receive medical attention; they always become more interested and then engage, however, the system ends up confusing them. Due to the level of poverty, the Latinos are likely to end up seeing a faith healer or the pharmacists when they have the ailments.
Cultural dynamics Latino community
While the need and demands of Latino family that faces the EOL issues might or may not be unique from the other families, the access to care and quality care are always affected by the cultural attitudes, concepts, and practices that are never self evident to the non-Latino caregivers. The group is diverse with varied economic, social, and political reasons for them being in States. According to this research, the health practitioners and providers must become knowledgeable on the type of patients they attend to and their models in health care because the practices, principles, and the procedures which are beneficial to the cultural group may not be benefiting and might as well become harmful to cultural groups (Grassi, 46). For instance, the U.S allows the health providers to terminal prognosis disclosure to the patients while in the culture of diverse Latinos, they oppose direct disclosure of the terminal prognosis to patients thus defending the act as protecting patients from the information experienced as disrespectful and cruel.
Generally, social, and cultural reasons, many Latinos do not engage in preventive health behavior. Sometimes it is lack of transportation or due to their financial condition that make it difficult to get to medical appointments or to take necessary medications. Most of The Latinos rely more on over the counter medications and home remedies, as well as advice from relatives and friends on medical related matters. They also use traditional medicines to self diagnose and self treat initial symptoms, and they tend to seek professional advice if symptoms persist.
Concerning the relationship between health care providers and the patient, a connection is at heart of most interaction among Latinos. Family plays a major role in Latinos culture when making health care decisions. It has a strong influence regarding the treatment of the patients and where the patients would be looked after (Lopez, 94). They are very supportive and usually quite involved with the care.
Latinos sees health care providers as authority figures and treat them with much respect and difference. In return, they expect a provider to be warm and friendly, to appreciate Latino culture, and to take an interest as whole persons. The core factors to this are the level of trust that makes honest communication possible. Its absence means that a patient or family member might not be cable to share relevant health information for use of tradition medicine.
Fatalismo-this is where things happen beyond control and the tendency to accept hardship according to the will of God and to endure a certain amount of suffering with dignity and self sacrifice hence play a role in health care behavior.
This explains why Gabriella ignores symptoms such as her “increasingly persistent cough, shortness of breath, headaches and generally feeling ill.” Marcos, her son, ignores the doctors’ advice to make a major lifestyle change in order to prevent the worsening of his diabetes. His reason is that he will just learn to live with his symptoms, which are still relatively mild.
Death is topics that many Latinos may not be willing to discuss, especially when a loved one is seriously ill. When their healthy conditions deteriorate, and there is a health crisis, families usually call 911 or rush to the emergency room or the hospital seeking for medication. In many occasions, patients arrive too late for technology to change the course of an illness that is very advanced. The situation might seem obvious to nurses and doctors that death is imminent, and aggressive treatment may look like medical futility than life saving technology. According to health providers, the line between the time to treat and the time to let go might be much clearer than for patients and families, who are now turning towards the mainstream health care system so that to serve the patient’s life.
Making decisions of withdrawing treatment is not something about which many Latino families feel comfortable. It is a difficult situation for a single member of the family to be responsible for such a critical decision. In cases like this, it would be better to have a family conference or call a priest so that to assist the families in making difficult decisions that are aligned to their beliefs and values.
Concerning comfort care, it is not uncommon that hospice is presented in a way that looks more like withdrawing treatment and giving up hope. The notions of paradise life at the end of life and comfort care, the patients dying peacefully at home surrounded by loved ones and with his or her pain controlled, are not what patients have in mind when there are been rushed to the emergency room. For some cases, the patient’s life cannot be saved, there is much that providers can do to families and patients the best care possible, along with care from aggressive treatment to palliative care to hospice and comfort care.
Stone, Valerie E. Hiv/aids in U.s. Communities of Color. New York, NY: Springer, 2009. Internet resource.
Fadem, Barbara. Behavioral Science in Medicine. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2012. Print.
Grassi, Luigi, and Michelle Riba. Clinical Psycho-Oncology: An International Perspective. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. Internet resource.
Loue, Sana, and Martha Sajatovic. Diversity Issues in the Diagnosis, Treatment, and Research of Mood Disorders. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. Internet resource.
Lopez, Alberto, and Ernestina Carrillo. The Latino Psychiatric Patient: Assessment and Treatment. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Pub, 2001. Internet resource.