Assignment: What is culture? Assignment: What is culture? What is culture? Well culture is not a genetic element of human beings it is a learned part of their p

Assignment: What is culture?

Assignment: What is culture?

What is culture? Well culture is not a genetic element of human beings it is a learned part of their personality and the way that they live. Falvo explains, “Culture is the characteristic pattern of attitudes, values, beliefs, and behaviors shared by members of a society or population. Members of a cultural group share characteristics that distinguish them from other groups” (Falvo, 2004). With culture being unique to every individual group, it makes it extremely important for health care providers to learn about the different cultures that exist. By becoming culturally competent, it allows the health care provider to provide appropriate care, education, and increase patient outcomes and satisfaction.
A culture in the United States that have been around for years is the Native American culture. There are over 3 million Native Americans in the United States spread across more than five hundred federally recognized nations (Roessel, 2020). This culture is also known as the indigenous culture. They have experienced a long history of trauma such as forced migration and imprisonments for practicing culture (Roessel, 2020). The indigenous culture experiences higher rates of suicide, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, PTSD, and other mental illnesses. They also have a higher rate of death from preventable diseases. Diabetes and Heart disease are high on the list of preventable illnesses that are taking the lives of indigenous people (Roessel, 2020). One main cause of this is lack of prevention and willingness to seek health care. Roessel explains, “Many Indigenous people feel stereotyped, ignored, and disrespected by non-Indigenous providers. Many programs serving Indigenous people are often not culturally relevant or sensitive to the significant trauma within Indigenous communities” (Roessel, 2020).

Communication within the Native American Culture is primarily English but the way they communicate is different for other cultures. They are typically very quiet people. They enjoy silence and to listen more than communicating. Some may think they are mad or upset due to the lack of communication but it is not necessarily true. Marah Rice explains, “There is much more emphasis on affective communication, such as expressing their feelings about something, rather than just verbal communication” (Rice, n.d.). Family dynamics are also different as family is extended and many family members become caregivers for the elder. Grandbois explains, “Many elders need family to be present during contact with health care providers for emotional support, as well as to ask providers questions and synthesize information. Some Native elders are timid in the presence of physicians” (Grandbois, 2012). Many Native American cultures try to provide care to their own population before seeking medical assistance. They use remedies and herbal treatments to treat the population as well as spiritual means. Assignment: What is culture?
Education for this culture should be provided in easy to understand terms. Health care providers will need to understand that the culture tends to be quiet and rather listen so they may not have much of a response during education. This does not mean they are ignoring the teaching but they are silent for processing information. Teaching should be done with requested family present. “Native elders may incorporate traditional healing practices into treatment or wellness practices. Nurses need to be supportive of these choices and provide privacy for ceremonial healing activities” (Grandbois, 2012). Assignment: What is culture?

Falvo, D. (2004). Individual factors in patient teaching and patient adherence. Effective Patient Education: A Guide to Increased Adherence. Retrieved from
Grandbois, D. (2012). The impact of history and culture on nursing care of Native American elders. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 38(10): 3-5.
Rice, M. (n.d.). Cultural Differences in Communication. Native American. Retrieved from

Megan Ring
3 posts
Re: Topic 3 DQ 1

According to Falvo (2011), culture is something that is learned, practiced, and communicated from one generation to another by specific groups within the culture. A culture can be composed of specific attitudes, values, beliefs, and behaviors.
The American Indian culture is one example of a culture that mostly resides in the United States. This specific population’s values, “lean toward a cosmic identity, a harmony of the individual with the tribe, and the tripe with the land, and the land with the spirit of the universe (Duran, 2002). They strongly believe that a man is inherently good and should be respected for his decisions, which correlates to why a male figure is selected as their form of a leader. The American Indians rarely put their trust into a person outside of their culture. Religion plays a role in their cultural lifestyle, by the tribes performing rites and rituals to ensure a person’s spirit. Most American Indians speak the Navajo language or the Comanche language, which are both essential for their culture identity (Schumpman, 2007).
Indian values are practiced on a daily basis and are re-enforced through the use of special ceremonies. Their main values include: Happiness, sharing, tribe and extended family first (before self), honor your elders, learning is through legends, look to traditions, work for purpose, time is only relative, oriented to land, cherish the memories of youth, don’t criticize your people, live like the animals, cherish your language, children are a gift of the Great Spirit, few rules are best, and religion is the universe (Duran, 2002).
Health care professionals must take the American Indian’s culture into consideration while caring for a person of this culture. Nursing cares and patient education still need to occur, regardless of the culture. First and foremost, a health care professional must remain un-bias and judgement-free of any culture that may differ from their own. The incorporation and respect of the patient’s own culture will promote optimal health-related outcomes, as the patient will be more compliant (Falvo, 2011).
If the patient speaks another language, it is essential to provide an interpreter. You cannot use family as an interpreter for medical care. Show your respect for the patient by asking them what they value most regarding their health and healthcare, as well as how they learn best. It is also important to assess their access to specific resources that may be need for further treatment options. Still allow the patient to access treatments that are non-traditional to the hospital setting, as this may be what they trust most. American Indians socially have a hard time trusting members outside of their tribe. It is important to find common ground and understanding in order to provide health-related education. Let the patient know that their home remedies and practices are equally as important. It is essential to be respectful, thoughtful, and caring while providing education that the patient may already be hesitant too. Always ask if there are additional people, services, or practices that they need to have incorporated with their health-care plans and treatments. When this is included as a part of the patient education, the patient will be more adherent to learning and understanding why you are trying to teach. Assignment: What is culture?

Duran, B. E. S. (2002). Wellness Courts. American Indian Belief Systems and Traditional Practices, 1–5.
Falvo, D. (2011). Effective patient education: a guide to increased adherence. (4th ed.). Retrieved from: https://www/
Schupman, E. & Smithsonian Institution. (2007). Native Words, Native Warriors. National Museum of the American Indian.

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