The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down by Ann Fadiman is a very interesting book. It’s amazing how difficult it is for Americans to understand other cultures because the United States is such a diverse country. However, as an American, I understood the frustrations that Lia Lee’s doctors’ felt when trying to diagnose and treat her properly. In this book both the American doctors and the Hmong peoples faced many hardships and barriers when trying to communicate with each other. After having read this book I can understand where both groups were coming from and reasons for their actions.
Their culture embeds deep spirituality into its health care, by the doctors of the Merced County hospital. The notion that herbs were strictly to heal the spirit was of course a source of contention for the physicians of the hospital, though nurses might feel that the symbolic effect alone is worth seizing. In other words, whether the physicians ... ... middle of paper ... ...uals, even if they don't agree with them. It really falls to nurses to address the situation properly, and effectively ensure that the cultural communication between the doctor and the patient does not break down. Nurses most of all have to communicate with patients in a healing way, even if they do not agree with mystical remedies because the nurse has to recognize that there is nonetheless a function that mystical ritual remedies do serve, even to western medicine: to comfort the patients and their families.
As shown in this text “If [doctors] continue to press their patients to comply with a regimen that, from the Hmong vantage, is potentially harmful, they may find themselves, to their horror, running up against that stubborn strain in the Hmong character which for thousands of years has preferred death to surrender (Fadiman 51).” In actuality the non-compliance is the reason why the Hmong and doctors had a clash of culture. The Hmong culture and the western culture is practically the opposite. In the Hmong culture everything is connected whether its medicine, religion, or lifestyle. In the Western culture each aspect of it is distinct and is more fact oriented rather than Spiritual. The clash of these cultures also brings up a clash of two different philosophies and morals.
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down has challenged me to start thinking about different ways to approach cultural barriers. Using the Lee family and Lia as an example, the book identifies the challenges that the family faced over the years and the challenges that the providers experienced as well. As a result, the book highlights the need for cross-cultural communication in medicine, in an attempt to eliminate the barriers faced by both parties. On completing the book, my feelings towards the Lee family changed. Initially I was frustrated because Lia’s parents seemed adamant and unwilling to take care of her, considering the severity of the illness.
Because of this, health insurance, like car insurance, flood insurance or fire insurance, has been established to assure its participant that he or she is able to be provided with the best care possible. Many horrible stories by normal people have shown that it hasn't happened. Deserved health care has not been provided, and many "insured participants" have suffered because of this. The problems of health care in the United States include: questioning of cost reduction techniques, allegations of death and injury, competition between hospitals themselves, and legal loopholes in the system. It's no wonder that medical care systems are under such scrutiny.
Where do we turn? Do we look for second opinions or do we look for different treatment options? This is becoming a major concern in our country as people are getting frustrated with the results, or lack thereof, of modern medicine. Through some of the research I have already done, I’ve discovered that people are very set on proving, beyond a doubt, that a given treatment works before they will try it. The fact that the efficacy of prayer is hard to prove, it is causing some doubt as whether prayer should be included in treatment plans.
However, when there’s mistrust between a doctor and a patient there could be lack of treatment because of the differences between our ... ... middle of paper ... ...ulture is changing, Hmong are not all the same, importance of family, privacy issues, mental health issues, and small talk is important (Barrett et al., 1998, 181-182) . Overall, Barrett and others concluded that in order to improve interaction between patient and doctor all they have to do is follow these easy steps. First, is to be kind and have a positive attitude towards the patient and interpreter. Second, learn about each other’s cultures prior to meeting, to better understand each other. Third, better explain diagnosis and treatment options to patients.
Many people feel that if you get to the root of the problem, it will help our financial health costs, and managed care provides help for this. Some of the negative things I feel about managed care is there is somewhat of a public dissatisfaction. As I said before, everyone wants the system to change and be better, but no one knows how to do it. Another negative thing about it is there are many limitations on what doctors you can see, and the ease of seeing a secondary doctor. There is also the issue of rising prescription drug costs that managed care does not address.
In this respect, a management package in the form of a leaflet aimed at these patients has been prepared, (see appendix), which may improve patients’ knowledge. The report will evaluate how the risk could be minimised by using this leaflet. The rationale for selecting the identified risk comes from observations, during community placement, where many patients had chronic wounds, which would not heal, despite nursing interventions, which is supported by Moffat (2001). Personal observations highlighted that some patients may have a knowledge deficit about the importance of balanced diet, to achieve wounds healing. However, despite nurse’s involvement in verbal health promotion, some patients were reluctant to follow nurses’ advice, which may increase their risk (Wientjes, 2008).
In which health care professionals have instituted “client-centered” or “person-centered” practices in their medical practice. According to the Medical and Health Service Act of 1985, health care providers must provide quality care “ based on respect for patient self-determination and integrity,” (Ekelund, Dahlin-Ivanoff, & Eklund, 2014, p.118). The authors of the article address the issue that self-determination for older adults often have little to no control over their decision making. They are often influenced intentionally or unintentionally by other’s opinions. Therefore, the authors address the discriminatory feelings that others have towards older adults, especially those who have lost control over their bodily or cognitive functions.