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Heritage Assessment

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Attitude to health is the result of relationships that characterize all the societies during the development of their culture and traditions in history. There are general factors, which are defined by economic situation, social and political system of society, especially its culture and ideology, and specific, which include health as individual as community lifestyle factors in health awareness, the influence of family, school, health care and other factors. These factors are refracted in the structure of the personality of an individual who is a carrier of a particular health behavior, or it is the breaking of the structure of the mass consciousness forming a certain code of conduct in the field of health. Traditionally, health conditions are studied in relation to socio-demographic characteristics of the individual's gender, background, age, family relationship, education level, proffered language, skill level, marital status and other determinants. 

All cultures are different in the ways of their living and relationship in their families, and in their attitudes to various spheres of their life. All these unique attitudes refer to such spheres of human life as medicine, health care, health maintenance, protection and restoration. The importance of the national and racial differentiation between these spheres is of a great value to the whole medical system and health care investigation.

The most common method for evaluation closeness of each individual is a heritage assessment tool. The questionnaire is the list of simple questions that determine the level of interpersonal relationship within a particular family or separate national community. It is a common knowledge that a greater part of nationalities has their special ways of curing illnesses and leads their own characteristic lifestyle. Still, it is not that possible to determine the fact whether a particular person under investigation can be a member of a particular national group and the treatment variant will be chosen correctly. The list of simple questions like the state of relations within the family, religious beliefs, the surroundings and the history of immigration or country of constant living can help the investigators to determine the status of an individual. Physical and mental health must be researched in the dynamics, because health development is a process that varies throughout life. Health depends on heredity and age-related changes that occur in the human body during life. The body's ability to resist the effects of harmful factors is determined by genetic characteristics of adaptive mechanisms and the process of their change.

During the process of completing the task, three families were thoroughly investigated with the help of the given Heritage Assessment tool. All three families are of different ethnic groups. The first one is the American family, all members of which lived in the USA for as long as they remember. The second is the Mexican family, members of which came to the U.S. long time ago and totally assimilated in the usual American life during the years their generation lived in this country. Finally, the third family is African American, grandparents of which moved to this country when they were young, and all their children were also born in the U.S.

All participants of the investigation were trying to help to fulfill the questionnaire questions of the assessment in order to see the dependence between cultural and healthcare differences. The reason of the test is to check whether a person can be easily identified as a member of a community that was close to the specific lifestyle and culture differences.

If to speak about these families’ differences in health maintaining, they have certain ones. As for the question of health maintenance, the American family prefers to have a professional doctor, who is a specialist in the specific sphere of human body and can deal with the problem on different levels of difficulty. They would prefer to go to the hospital immediately and have a professional health care provided by the best specialists in the hospital. These people think of their future possible health issues in advance and have their medical insurance so that they feel protected of any accidents and other cases when a question of health help might occur.

Not all members of the Mexican family have medical insurance. They prefer not to refer to the medical centers but to find an acquaintance doctor whom they trust and can be sure of his or her professionalism. More often than not, they do not care much about the medical insurance, because there is always an opportunity to refer to a hospital that provides free services.

The African American family is the most radical in their attitude to health maintenance for a number of reasons. First, they usually do not trust hospitals because of the unpleasant experiments that were held unsuccessfully many years ago. Second, they consider health maintenance is the best at home, or asking an older member for help if needed.

As for the health protection, the American family tries to take care of their health with the help of vitamins and active additions to their every day meals as well as eat organic food mostly.

The Mexican family members eat a lot of cayenne pepper and add it to the greater part of their meals. This protects them from a number of stomach diseases and illnesses. Their food is also mostly organic and spicy, which is also helpful for the particular spheres of their health.

The African American family values meals most of all. All the food is healthy and wholesome as well as it can sometimes be greasy and not so healthy. However, they use special grasses for tea in order to make their drinks more tasty and healthy.

There is a special attitude to health restoration in these three families. If to speak about the American family, there is a strong necessity to mention that they pay a greater amount of their attention to the emotional part of this process. They bring flowers to their relatives; encourage them for the future plans and possible variants of having time together and other stuff that can influence the person under medication the best possible way.

The Mexican family is more inclined to protect their ill members from any outside disturb so that the person can be calm and not worried about how he or she looks like or what would other think of him/her. The atmosphere of total protection and constant help with the process is the most common characteristic of the Mexican family as well as the continuous usage of various herbs that can help to restore health.

The African American family is also more inclined to protect its ill members from any disturbing although they provide healthy food as the main condition of the positive result of any medication process.

All the peculiarities must be deeply researched and investigated by the professional medical stuff in order to provide all the necessary medical service to a person of specific nationality or culture. The correct investigation will determine half of the percentage of the positive result and successful treatment of the individual, and protect the patients from the unnecessary stress that might be caused by a non-differentiating culture peculiarities staff. The importance of the Heritage Assessment tool is on the high level as well as the investigation of specific attitudes to health system in different cultures in general. That is why it is important to learn as many of the cultural health traditions as possible to be aware of specific peculiarities of a particular nation. The level of knowledge will be increasing during the years of work, and to ensure the positive and productive flow, it is important to meet people of different nationalities and interview them in order to get all the necessary information that might be helpful during the process of work at the hospital.

The emotional sense of protection and understandability of the medical staff at the hospital produces a great influence upon the patient so that if the professional specialists are aware of these cultural peculiarities of different nations, there is a process of deeper trust that occurs from the part of the person under medication.

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