Chinese Culture

it is discussion board response for 2 posts , one for Navajo culture and the other one is Chinese culture , one paragraph for each with references

Post #1
Chinese Culture

The United States population is growing increasingly diverse, with Chinese Americans credited as one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the nation (Giger, 2013). This change is witnessed firsthand by healthcare professionals such as ourselves, who struggle to care for patients from backgrounds incongruent to their own. Additionally, each and every cultural group possess unique communication styles and values, further contributing to the challenges we face when providing patient care. To facilitate positive patient outcomes, clear communication between care providers and clients is essential (Bastable, 2013).

There are cultural variations among Chinese Americans that nurses need to be aware of before providing care to patients from this heritage. To emphasize, therapeutic touch is atypical for them and they normally do not touch a person they are conversating with. In fact, depending on what part of the body is involved, touch is actually deemed offensive (Giger, 2013). I feel that an appropriate nursing intervention to facilitate healthy communication is to avoid touch whenever possible. Some aspects of patient assessment or medical procedures will require the nurse to interact in a tactile manner with their patient. In this situation, the nurse should first explain to the patient in detail why touch has to occur, which areas of the body will be touched, and confirm that the patient has a solid understanding before the assessment begins (Nguyen, 2014). An additional cultural variation worthy of consideration is how Chinese Americans perceive body language. For instance, resting one’s feet upon a table, chair, or desk during verbal interaction is perceived as impolite and disrespectful (Giger, 2013). To avoid a negative perception and maintain open communication, the nurse can conform their body language in a way the will not be perceived as offensive. If the nurse is seated at eye level in front of the patient while providing education, they should avoid resting their feet on the legs of the patient’s bed or bedside table.

Nurses may find that certain family factors and structure may cause difficulties when caring for hospitalized Chinese Americans. They are typically very family oriented, and view the care of an ill relative as a family responsibility (Nguyen, 2014). In order to provide effective patient care and increase the chances of a positive outcome, nurses must be respectful of these views despite any personal bias they may harbor. Interventions to attain a positive outcome include; actively involving family members in the plan of care, being receptive to their thoughts and opinions, and educating the patient and family as a whole. The family structure usually follow patterns of hierarchy, meaning that males have authority over females, men over their wives, and older children over younger siblings. Nurses may find that effectively caring for a married Chinese female means communicating with her husband, who will more than likely be making the decisions for his wife (Giger, 2013).

The Chinese believe that interactions between opposite forces, also referred to as yin and yang, will manifest certain outcomes. Yin is most influential during the winter solstice and represents negative environmental influences such as; femininity, dark colors, cold food or water, and even numbers. On the contrary, yang is most influential during the summer solstice and represents positive environmental influences such as; masculinity, bright colors, warm food or water, and odd numbers. They believe that an illness requiring medical attention is due to an imbalance of yin and yang. Consuming more hot foods during the winter solstice and more cold foods during the summer solstice, is a way to correct an imbalance and restore health (Nguyen, 2014). The nurse caring for the 40-year-old Chinese American female hospitalized for uremia in the case study, can apply the yin and yang mythology to help the patient heal. One intervention is to assist her with selecting hot foods and cold foods from her menu, respective to the solstice. Additionally, the patient’s water pitcher can be filled with warm water instead of cold, during the winter solstice.

Bastable, S. B. (2014). Nurse as educator: Principles of teaching and learning for nursing practice (4th ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Giger, J. N. (2013). Transcultural nursing: Assessment and intervention (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

Nguyen, G. T. (2014). Challenges and opportunities in the care of Asian American patients. American Family Physician (90)7, 490-494. Retrieved from http://www.aafp.orn/afp/2014/1001/p490.html

Post #2
Navajo culture
Throughout a career in the medical field, there may be many instances when the practices of patients come off as abnormal. This is when it becomes important for nurses to consider and determine underlying factors such as culture. The Navajo is one of many groups that has unique beliefs related to health. The purpose of this posting is to discuss the ways that the Navajo culture may affect the way that they seek healthcare. I will also discuss the influence of folk medicine on this group’s use of health practices.

Giger (2013) outlines many beliefs that the Navajo hold that may affect the way that they approach healthcare. For instance, they view the first encounter with the nurse as an introduction and a means to become acquainted. It is not meant to deal with official health matters, and the decision to continue may be based off of this encounter. This culture believes that there are no boundaries between space and time. They believe that spaces shared with many other individuals provides them with security and comfort. It may be difficult for this group to be in a space that they are not used to such as a hospital. It provides comfort to them to have many family members at the bedside. It is important for nurses to remember that this culture may not have a means of transportation and their hogan may be far away. Therefore accommodations should be made for visiting family. Many members of the Navajo also consider family members such as cousins as brothers and sisters, and great aunts and uncles as grandparents. Because of this, it may seem that they have many more close family members than normal to someone who is not aware of these beliefs. This group often will not use clocks because they believe in being present time oriented. This requires extra reinforcement from the nurse on the times that medications should be taken and the importance of keeping physician appointments (Giger, 2013).

The Navajo believe in many folk medicine practices. They believe that health encompasses being in harmony with the environment and family. This group believes in the power of performing healing ceremonies using practices such as song, dance, storytelling, and prayers. There are many Navajo medicine men and women who receive training on folk medicine. They use items such as arrowheads, stones, corn pollen, and feathers to perform sacred ceremonies. They may talk to physicians about the care of their loved ones and may also perform healing ceremonies at the hospital. As long as ritualistic healing practices are not harmful to the health of the Navajo, the nurse should allow them to be practiced to help the patient maintain peace and comfort with their care (Giger, 2013).

In the case study by Giger (2013), Mary Littlejohn’s situation encompasses many areas that could be expected with a Navajo patient. She has many family members by her side which is common among this group due to the importance of immediate and extended family. She has cornmeal sprinkled around her bed which is part of the healing ritual beliefs of this group. These practices are not harmful to the patient so they could be considered positive behaviors for her mental and emotional wellbeing. Mary Littlejohn has been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Diabetes in general is a large problem among American Indians, sometimes beginning in the teens or early twenties (Giger, 2013). Ray, Holben, and Holcomb (2012) state that food insecurity is a large factor in the high incidence of diabetes among the Navajo. The article addresses the importance of nurses helping to overcome this insecurity and providing nutritional education. It is important that this group understands there are food assistance programs that they can utilize (Ray, Holben, & Holcomb, 2012). Mary Littlejohn may not have went to the hospital as soon as she should have due to poor transportation among this group and the scarcity of healthcare centers. It is also important to remember that this group may wait longer than other cultures to seek healthcare because of their belief in healers and folk medicine. The fact that she has a known history of gestational diabetes and waited to seek care is a negative factor of this group’s health seeking behaviors. Fraleigh (2011) states that even though the Navajo are much more unhealthy and poor, there is a shortage of health centers for this group. The article states that it is hard to keep retention of healthcare professionals due to the remote locations, far distance from metropolitan areas, and sparsely populated reservations (Fraleigh, 2011). In conclusion, many cultures seek and approach healthcare in different ways. Having cultural competence with groups such as the Navajo will help the patient reach their highest level of spiritual and physical wellbeing.


Fraleigh, J. M. (2011). Spiritual healing: Yes, the landscapes can be inspiring, but for mobile professionals who provide care in the Navajo Nation, there tends to be a deeper sense of purpose. Healthcare Traveler, (10). 22. Retrieved from

Giger, J. N. (2013). Transcultural nursing: Assessment and intervention (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

Ray, E. B., Holben, D. H., & Holcomb, J. P. (2012). Food security status and produce intake behaviors, health status, and diabetes risk among women with children living on a Navajo reservation. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, 7(1), 91-100. doi:10.1080/19320248.2012.649670