Cultural Beliefs and Values
Culture shapes the values, beliefs, customs, and attitudes of people and their generations over many years. In American society, cultural values and beliefs influence how people think and feel about their health and health problems, when and from whom to seek healthcare, and how to respond to healthcare interventions, lifestyle changes, and treatment compliance (Cultural Beliefs and Values).
First, religious values and beliefs affect healthcare delivery in the US. Religion is not a hobby for zealous Americans but a way of life that poses barriers to specific health interventions. For example, some religions, such as Jews, do not take certain meals, while some believe the illness is a God’s act of punishment and repentance should be the proper treatment. Gender roles also affect health care delivery; some women prefer less invasive treatment.
At the same time, some partners feel dominant in making all decisions about their spouse, including health-related decisions. Third, negative beliefs about modern treatment and medications also affect healthcare delivery. Subsequently, perceptions about illness, health, and death among patients with different cultures affect healthcare promotion strategies, pain, and illness experiences (Cultural Beliefs and Values).
The different cultural beliefs have shaped the healthcare delivery system since healthcare providers have to provide culturally competent care (Purnell, 2021). In this case, healthcare providers must accommodate their patients’ cultural concerns while devising treatment plans. Healthcare providers also have to ask patients cultural-related questions to understand how it affects their health and health interventions’ compliance. For this reason, healthcare providers should learn about different cultures to offer patients quality and culturally competent care regardless of their cultural values and beliefs.
The United States’ health care system is unique and differs from other industrialized nations. As such, the US does not have a uniform healthcare system and has no universal care coverage for all citizens. However, legislation continues to increase the number of persons covered. In addition, the US has a hybrid healthcare system since it does not operate on single-payer national health insurance, a National Health Service, or multi-payer health insurance. Nations like Canada and Taiwan have a single-payer health system where the government, as a single entity and sole administrator, collects all healthcare fees and handles all healthcare costs (Cultural Beliefs and Values).
I believe that healthcare services should be available for everyone regardless of their ability to pay. First, people should access various healthcare services whenever needed, at all places, and without any financial constraints. Everyone should be treated when sick to make healthier families and communities a reality. Lastly, primary, secondary, and tertiary care levels should be accessible.
Purnell, L. D. (2021). The Purnell model and theory for cultural competence. Textbook for Transcultural Health Care: A Population Approach: Cultural Competence Concepts in Nursing Care, 19-59.