Culture, Health and Society is an interesting and important subject for health care professional’s curriculum. It talks about all the cultural and social aspects from individual’s perspectives. We human are the social animals and to be socialized we need to build relationship with each others, which is impossible without knowing people’s social views and concerns. If we are aware of person’s cultural values we will be able to respect their values and believes which is the key to build relationships. Besides that, being a health care provider it is necessary to have knowledge about different cultural views and perspectives because he deals with different patients belong to different cultures and societies who have different values and believe which may interfere with their therapeutic regime. But if the health care provider plans his treatment according to patient’s values and believes, it will increase patient’s prognosis by making him compliant with his treatment. Along with it therapeutic relationship also get develop between a health care provider and a patient. So in short, it will help us to provide holistic care to patients by considering and respecting their values and believes.
In order to provide culturally accepted, competent and safe care to the patients belong to diverse cultural backgrounds health care providers should be aware about patient’s cultural views, perspectives and concerns. This can be assessed through transcultural assessment tool. It helps in thorough assessment of patient’s views and believes to plan the care accordingly.
To provide transcultural care to patient, I developed a tool contains different questionnaires to assess patient’s cultural and social aspects. In the beginning of developing tool I revised our transcultural class session that helped me to be more focused about its components. After that I brainstormed about each component to develop questionnaire, though it was a difficult task but with the efforts I reached to my goal. In the implication phase, that tool was utilized to assess patient’s cultural point of views and his believes. Before exploring the patient’s according to the cultural tool, I introduced myself and explained the patient about the purpose of tool that helped me to build therapeutic relationship with the patient. According to the patient, I was the first health care provider who was ready to listen to his values and believes because the patient was Muslim but he was admitted in the Christian hospital so no one had shown any concern regarding this issue. He replied my every question without any hesitance. So I think this tool is really very important to build therapeutic trust relationship with the patient.
During filling the assessment tool, I focused on its components which are communication, time, space, environmental control, social organization and biological variables.
Communication is the important and basic component of transcultural tool which helped me to understand patient’s communication pattern as it guides a health care provider to use communication skills and language according to the patient’s level and preference. I think that without having effective communication skills it is very difficult to interview the patient and get his complete history especially about the sensitive patterns like values, believe and sexuality. It is easy to explore these areas by using effective communication techniques.
Space is another critical component of assessment tool which helps me not to cross patient’s personal boundaries. It varies from person to person and by providing safe space, we can provide the patient maximal level of comfort.
Time is the third sensitive component which tells us how much patient is punctual and values his time. It helps us to be clear, concise and focused during asking the questions because most of the patients think that health care providers take long interviews and waste a lot of their time but do not do anything for them.
Social organization tells us about the personality of patient that how he copes up with stress. Along with, it helps us to explore patient’s social and cultural believes about marriages. It also focuses on sexual and reproductive pattern which is very difficult to explore but I was able to assess it with my history taking skills.
Environmental control is a serious component through which patient’s perception about health and illness is assessed. In addition, patient’s values and believes can also be assessed by exploring his preferences to seek health.
Biological variable is an important aspect which helps to relate patient’s disease with his past and family history. Further more, physical examination, lab findings and nutritional status are the keys to understand patient’s disease.
Overall, cultural assessment tool is very effective to see patient in broader aspect by assessing his culture, values, believes, customs and practices. It helps the health care provider to counsel the patient for unsafe practices. Besides that, it facilitates him to modify the treatment according to patient’s believe to provide him cultural sensitive care and to make him more compliant with treatment. I think cultural assessment tool should be use regularly in clinical settings to assess patients critically and to provide them holistic care according to their values and believes.