Applying Anthropology to Nursing Essay

1130 Words 5 Pages
Applying Anthropology to Nursing

Medical Anthropology is dedicated to the relationship between human behavior, social life, and health within an anthropological context. It provides a forum for inquiring into how knowledge, meaning, livelihood, power, and resource distribution are shaped and how, in turn, these observable facts go on to shape patterns of disease, experiences of health and illness, and the organization of treatments. It focuses on many different topics including the political ecology of disease, the interface of the micro- and macro-environments that affect health, the politics of responsibility as it relates to health, gender and health, the moral, political and interpersonal contexts of bodily suffering, and the social
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Having the knowledge about cultures and their impact on interactions with health care is essential for nurses, whether they are practicing in a clinical setting, education, research or administration. Cultural diversity addresses racial and ethnic differences, however, these concepts or features of the human experience are not synonymous. The changing demographics of the nation will continue to increase the cultural diversity of the United States population and those that have up to this point in time that have been considered to be the minority will, combined, constitute a national majority.
The knowledge and skills relating to cultural diversity that I have obtained from my course in Anthropology I believe will help me to be able to strengthen and broaden the health care delivery system. Other cultures are capable of providing examples of a range of alternatives in services, delivery systems, conceptualization of illness, and treatment modalities. Cultural groups often utilize traditional health care providers, identified by and respected within the group. Concepts of illness, wellness, and treatment modalities evolve from a cultural perspective or world view. Concepts of illness, health, and wellness are part of the total cultural belief system.
Knowing that culture is one of the organizing concepts upon which nursing is based and defined, it is important for me to understand:
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