comment sherry january 23 4:02pm


“Successful communication between healthcare providers and their patients from different cultural backgrounds

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depends on developing awareness of the normative cultural values of patients and how these differ from the cultural

values of most western medical professionals. When cultural differences are poorly understood, a variety of adverse

clinical outcomes may result: reduced participation in preventive screenings, delayed immunizations, inaccurate

histories, use of harmful remedies, non-compliance, and decreased satisfaction with care” (Carteret, 2011).

There are many cultural considerations to be aware of while interviewing Sue Li who is of Asian American ethnicity.

The Asian community as a whole is conservative no matter the sex of the person. Sue Li should first be asked if she

would prefer to speak with a male or female nurse. Since the patient is only 20 years old there may be some resistance

in communication. The Asian Community has a strong bond with family. Their family extends to include all relatives not

just immediate members. Loyalty is expected within the family, and dishonor or disgrace is not tolerated. Self-control is

expected from all family members this demonstrates stamina and strength in crisis. In the healthcare setting Sue Li

may be unwilling to show strong emotions, pain, or grief because of cultural values. Cultural beliefs about health and

sickness often conflict with Western medicine, which prevent some Asian-Americans from seeking help for symptoms

or sticking with treatment. Another important consideration the nurse must check for is that Sue understands what she

is being educated about. There may be a language barrier. Sue Li may give the nurse a gesture as though she

understands when she is actually confused about her diagnosis or treatments. It will help if the nurse avoids asking yes

or no questions. The nurse must also give the patient time if she wants to confer with her family. Unfortunately this can

be time consuming and possibly delay care but building a trusting relationship is essential when dealing with different

cultures (Carteret, 2011).

The Abuse Assessment Screen (AAS) was created for the detection of abuse in pregnant women, and it is the oldest

screening tool used today. It consists from three to five questions, and is also used to increase documentation in

medical records. The questions assess physical, sexual, and emotional abuse prior to and during pregnancy. The AAS isusually conducted by the nurse but can be conducted other members of the hospital such as, counselors, physicians,

or nutritionists. The tool is even translated into different languages, and it also includes body maps for documentation

of injuries (Women’s Health, 2009).

If abuse is discovered the nurse should not only report it but offer support to Sue Li. The nurse can provide her with

resources to receive help and education. For instance, a nurse could give Sue Li the phone number of a domestic

violence hotline. Also, the nurse may show Sue to a phone and an opportunity to make the call. After the nurse

assesses Sue’s home environment and determines if it is safe the nurse can refer her to a battered women’s shelter.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE, is an excellent source for both patients and nurses. These

sources will allow the nurse to give Sue Li additional knowledge, encouragement, and the assurance that she can come

back to the hospital for additional help (Carteret, 2011).


Carteret, Marcia, M. ED. (2011). Cultural Values of Asian Patients and Families. Retrieved from:

(2009). Women’s Health and Education Center (WHEC). Retrieved from:

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