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Week 2: Functional Assessments and Cultural and Diversity Awareness in Health Assessment

Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another’s uniqueness.

—Ola Joseph

Countless assessments can be conducted on patients, but they may not be useful. In order to ensure that health assessments result in the necessary care, health assessments should take into account the impact of factors such as cultures and developmental circumstances.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze diversity considerations in health assessments
  • Apply concepts, theories, and principles related to examination techniques, functional assessments, and cultural and diversity awareness in health assessment

Learning Resources

Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)

Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Seidel’s guide to physical examination: An interprofessional approach (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

  • Chapter 1, “The History and Interviewing Process”  (Previously read in Week 1)

This chapter highlights history and interviewing processes. The authors explore a variety of communication techniques, professionalism, and functional assessment concepts when developing relationships with patients.

  • Chapter 2, “Cultural Competency”

This chapter highlights the importance of cultural awareness when conducting health assessments. The authors explore the impact of culture on health beliefs and practices. Dains, J. E., Baumann, L. C., & Scheibel, P. (2019). Advanced health assessment and clinical diagnosis in primary care (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.Credit Line: Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Diagnosis in Primary Care, 6th Edition by Dains, J.E., Baumann, L. C., & Scheibel, P. Copyright 2019 by Mosby. Reprinted by permission of Mosby via the Copyright Clearance Center. Chapter 2, “Evidenced-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines” Melton, C., Graff, C., Holmes, G., Brown, L., & Bailey, J. (2014). Health literacy and asthma management among African-American adults: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Journal of Asthma, 51(7), 703–713. doi:10.3109/02770903.2014.906605Credit Line: Health literacy and asthma management among African-American adults: An interpretative phenomenological analysis by Melton, C., Graff, C., Holmes, G., Brown, L., & Bailey, J., in Journal of Asthma, Vol. 51/Issue 7. Copyright 2014 by Taylor & Francis, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Taylor & Francis, Inc. via the Copyright Clearance Center.The authors of this study discuss the relationship between health literacy and health outcomes in African American patients with asthma. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Cultural competence. Retrieved from https://npin.cdc.gov/pages/cultural-competenceThis website discusses cultural competence as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Understanding the difference between cultural competence, awareness, and sensitivity can be obtained on this website. United States Department of Human & Health Services. Office of Minority Health. (n.d.). A physician’s practical guide to culturally competent care. Retrieved June 10, 2019, from https://cccm.thinkculturalhealth.hhs.gov/From the Office of Minority Health, this website offers CME and CEU credit and equips healthcare professionals with awareness, knowledge, and skills to better treat the increasingly diverse U.S. population they serve. Espey , D. K., Jim, M. A., Cobb, N., Bartholomew, M., Becker, T., Haverkamp, D., & Plescia, M. (2014). Leading causes of death and all-cause mortality in American Indians and Alaska Natives. American Journal of Public Health, 104(Suppl 3), S303–S311. 

The authors of this article present patterns and trends in all-cause mortality and leading cause of death in American Indians and Alaskan Natives. Wannasirikul, P., Termsirikulchai, L., Sujirarat, D., Benjakul, S., & Tanasugarn, C. (2016). Health literacy, medication adherence, and blood pressure level among hypertension older adults treated at primary health care centers. Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, 47(1), 109–120.

The authors of this study explore the causal relationships between health literacy, individual characteristics, literacy, culture and society, cognitive ability, medication adherence, and the blood pressure levels of hypertensive older adults receiving healthcare services at primary healthcare centers. Required Media (click to expand/reduce)


Discussion: Diversity and Health Assessments

Randall’s statements sparked a great deal of controversy and debate; however, they emphasize an underlying reality in the healthcare field: different populations, cultures, and groups have diverse beliefs and practices that impact their health. Nurses and healthcare professionals should be aware of this reality and adapt their health assessment techniques and recommendations to accommodate diversity.

In this Discussion, you will consider different socioeconomic, spiritual, lifestyle, and other cultural factors that should be taken into considerations when building a health history for patients with diverse backgrounds. Your Instructor will assign a case study to you for this Discussion.

To prepare:

  • Reflect on your experiences as a nurse and on the information provided in this week’s Learning Resources on diversity issues in health assessments.
  • By Day 1 of this week, you will be assigned a case study by your Instructor. Note: Please see the “Course Announcements” section of the classroom for your case study assignment.
  • Reflect on the specific socioeconomic, spiritual, lifestyle, and other cultural factors related to the health of the patient assigned to you.
  • Consider how you would build a health history for the patient. What questions would you ask, and how would you frame them to be sensitive to the patient’s background, lifestyle, and culture? Develop five targeted questions you would ask the patient to build his or her health history and to assess his or her health risks.
  • Think about the challenges associated with communicating with patients from a variety of specific populations. What strategies can you as a nurse employ to be sensitive to different cultural factors while gathering the pertinent information?
By Day 3 of Week 2

Post an explanation of the specific socioeconomic, spiritual, lifestyle, and other cultural factors associated with the patient you were assigned. Explain the issues that you would need to be sensitive to when interacting with the patient, and why. Provide at least five targeted questions you would ask the patient to build his or her health history and to assess his or her health risks.

Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the “Post to Discussion Question” link, and then select “Create Thread” to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click on Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts, and you cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking on Submit!

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6 of Week 2

Respond on or before Day 6 on 2 different days to at least two of your colleagues who were assigned a different patient than you. Critique your colleague’s targeted questions, and explain how the patient might interpret these questions. Explain whether any of the questions would apply to your patient, and why.

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