Posted: June 7th, 2016

The Influence of Culture and Genetics on Health


As noted by each expert in this week’s media, the family plays a significant role in health decisions made by the individual family member. Family values, culture, religious beliefs, and dynamics often impact the individual’s health choices and outcomes, and may affect the nurse’ s ability to provide appropriate care. This connection between individuals within the family should be considered by the community health nurse. By recognizing the family dynamics, listening, and conducting informal assessments of family members, the BSN-prepared nurse has the opportunity to have a positive influence on the health of not only the individual family member, but on the family as a unit. As Christina Lee mentioned in the media presentation, community health nurses often have the opportunity to educate family members about their own health while visiting in the home. She stressed the importance of providing culturally competent nursing care in building trust with the family.

Culture, race, and ethnicity significantly influence communication and health choices. As Dr. Rachel Smith noted, even gestures have different meaning depending on culture. When working with families, nurses need to consider a broad spectrum of issues as they provide professional nursing care.

With these thoughts in mind, read the following case study and then respond to the questions.

A Native American family of four lives in a trailer park outside of Tallahassee, Florida. The father is a construction worker and works 12-hour shifts, relaxing at the end of the day with a few cold beers. The mother works part-time at a gas station until late afternoon. The two children, ages 9 and 12, eat breakfast and lunch through the free meal program at their school, and attend a free community outreach-tutoring program during the week. They stay with their maternal grandmother on weekends while the parents work. The grandmother suffers from diabetes, Their paternal grandfather passed away 6 years ago from pancreatic cancer. Both parents smoke.

You are conducting a home visit with this family. Answer the following questions:

•How might the family’s culture and genetic history influence your communication and approach in addressing their health risks?

•How would you build trust with the family before and during the visit?
Support your response with references from the professional nursing literature.

•Kazemi, D. M., Levine, M. J., Dmochowski, J., Nies, M. A., & Sun, L. (2013). Effects of Motivational Interviewing Intervention on Blackouts Among College Freshmen. Journal Of Nursing Scholarship, 45(3), 221-229. doi:10.1111/jnu.12022
Retrieved from the Walden University Library Databases
•Backholer, K., Beauchamp, A., Ball, K., Turrell, G., Martin, J., Woods, J., & Peeters, A. (2014). A Framework for Evaluating the Impact of Obesity Prevention Strategies on Socioeconomic Inequalities in Weight. American Journal Of Public Health, 104(10), e43-50. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302066
Retrieved from the Walden University Library Databases
•Okorodudu, D. E., Bosworth, H. B., & Corsino, L. (2014). Innovative interventions to promote behavioral change in overweight or obese individuals: A review of the literature. Annals Of Medicine, Annals of medicine, (0), 1-7. doi:10.3109/07853890.2014.931102
Retrieved from the Walden University Library Databases


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