Traditional Medicine and Culture in a Mexican Migrant Community in 2008. “As members of the Mexican Diaspora acculturate/ assimilate to life in the united States they gain skills that help them improve their socioeconomic status” (Walden, 2008), but their health deteriorates as their culture is lost. The importance of cultural competence in nursing includes recognition of how the deterioration occurs and practice the principles of healthcare ethics through autonomy, beneficence, malefaction, and justice while practicing healthcare for this population (Demonic, 2015). Summary of Article
The journal article being reviewed for this paper is a doctoral dissertation that studies the changes in overall health of the Mexican Diaspora after migrating to the United States. The writer presents a specific study group of migrant Mexican women in Georgia, as well as some general Mexican immigrant information from other sources, including California. The objective seems to be to educate the healthcare providers on the overall health of the migrants related to their choices of lifestyles. The two choices being to remain in a low- income but migrant population, or to assimilate and acculturate into the
American populations. The primary research site for this study is in Athens, Georgia and takes place in a Spanish-speaking low-income neighborhood named “Los Duplex” and it focuses on women. The economy in Athens depends on the University students and much of the employment is with the service industry. The neighborhoods, or barrios, are small and isolated on the outskirts of town. Los Duplex has a community center that is nick named La Cellulite or Little School. The community center offers classes in English, parenting, nutrition, as well as after-school activities and homework help for kids.
The community center has “… Eloped cultivate a sense of community among the residents, who come from many different parts of Mexico” (Wieldiest, 2008). After describing how the study group was chosen and what all the details of the study were, Wieldiest continues on with the explanation of the difference in health the Mexican migrants face by either staying true to their culture or assimilating to their host culture. So many migrants come to America with the intention to work and return to their country and family, but when they start working and acculturating many of them choose to stay.
Wieldiest explains that Mexican women are well-educated as part of their up- ringing, about the natural medicines. The native plants are used for all purposes of health. The two most popular medicinal plants are chamomile and peppermint. Not only the indigenous plants, but the whole foods that the Mexican woman prepare are fresh and have more protein, vitamin A, C, folic acid, and calcium than what the American born Mexican women and the women of European descent prepare. Wieldiest explains that this is because Mexican women’s definition of a good diet includes fruits, vegetables, and plenty of water.
The women pointed out that mindful eating is important, only eating what the body needs, and eating outside of the home, “especially in the street’ leads to poor habits and sickness. Mexican women that were used in this study pointed out that staying calm, avoiding anger, staying active, caring for oneself and others, and getting enough sleep were also important, along with healthy eating. The migrants that came to America, but sought out their one culture to live amongst stayed active physically and socially.
The types of employment available were manual labor jobs, agriculture, factory, restaurant work; all of which are active jobs where the errors had less chance to become sedentary and obese. By sticking to their own neighborhoods and social groups they stayed happy and active. Medicine and medical care is taken care of in the homes by the Mexican woman using natural remedies and herbs. Wieldiest learned that Mexican families expect the women to learn about the medicine and how to use them.
The fresh herbs are preferred over the dry herbs that are purchased in the stores in America, but the plants don’t grow well in the America due to the weather changes. A most popular herb is chamomile to be used as a tea infusion. This is useful for Castro-intestinal problems because it has anti- spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties. The women shared 42 different herbal remedies during the interviews. Two popular over-the-counter products the women used were Ethylene for headaches and Vic’s Vapor Rub for congestion.
The most common prescription medications include anti- fungal, high blood pressure, diabetes, and antibiotic medications. Application to Practice The Mexican Diaspora who remain the healthiest tend to stick to their own culture when they migrate, however the women of this study recognize the deed for professional medical treatment. Going to the doctor is reserved for the most serious sicknesses that do not respond to home remedies. For this reason the migrants interviewed for this study told about the free clinics, women’s clinics, and public hospitals in Los Duplex area.
Some Of the immigrants have insurance and some participate in low-income assistance programs. The hospitals in Athens have a well-funded low-income assistance program that even covers UN-documented immigrants. The hospitals and clinics used for this study had interpreters and bi-lingual healthcare revisers. The hospitals employ social workers to help enroll the children in programs like Medicaid, Women Infants and Children (WICK), and a local program in Georgia called “Peachier. ” Healthcare barriers cited by Wieldiest that were reported by the Mexican women of Los Duplex include those that most healthcare workers.
High cost of healthcare, no health insurance, poor English skills, and lack of transportation are the main barriers. In chapter 25 of Advanced Practice Nursing there is a definition for Principles of Healthcare Ethics: Ethical principles are universal rules of induct that identify which kinds of actions, intentions and motives are valued (peg 554). This is only a fraction of the definition, yet it is so profound. The women of this study value community, love, family, and healthy living. They are raised and taught as children to take care, nurture, grow, and heal themselves and their families and friends.
Mexican women are autonomous, they choose for themselves how to live healthy. They are beneficent by demonstrating kindness and helping others. The health care system in place in the Los Duplex area should stay maleficent, avoid causing patients arm. If the women have exhausted the home remedies prior to taking their friends or family to the hospital they expect to be cared for, not harmed. “Justice is the obligation to be fair… ” And this is another expectation when people go to a healthcare facility (Barker, 2013. Peg 554-556). Nursing interventions should be in put in place for each barrier presented by a patient.
An example of a nursing intervention for a family in the Los Duplex would be to have all forms in Spanish and English along with some type of interpreter offered. While admitting a Mexican migrant patient into a hospital r clinic, attention should be given to the culturally common home remedies. Fifth intake nurse is educated in the culture and now the patient has hypertension, then what other natural herbs or fruits and vegetables is the patient taking in that could be contra-indicated with a medication, and therefore rendering the high blood pressure medication that was previously prescribed, as useless.
Nurses hold the power when it comes to connecting with patients, they are the driving force of the care continuum. The more the nurses know about the community culture and the patient culture, the better are can be offered and healthy outcomes achieved. Conclusion The study that was used for this dissertation touched on key concepts of cultural sensitivity in communicating with Mexican Diaspora, especially the women who care for their families and friends.
As a migrant culture, the Mexicans are healthier if left to take care of themselves with their home remedies of healthy herbs, healthy diets, healthy mental status, and healthy social groups. As health care providers, it is important to maintain an ethical health care environment and respect the autonomy of the Mexican women ascribed in this paper. They treat their families and friends with beneficence and the health care providers need to remain maleficent when assisting the patients with their illnesses.
Meanwhile, the organization of healthcare systems need to treat every patient justly, address the language barriers, the financial barriers, and insurance barriers with fairness and equality. The study of Los Duplex was a small group of Mexican migrants, and like other world cultures, there are many more cultural differences. The most important point is to respect the patient, listen and do the best job possible to et the needs of the mother or father or child sitting in the chair in need of medical attention, no matter what culture they are from.
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