Cultural Influences On End Of Life Care

916 WordsJul 15, 20164 Pages
Health care providers interact with patients from many different cultures. It is important to be knowledgeable and respectable of other cultures. Health care providers will be able to improve the experience of the patient if they are more culturally. More than 500 nations of Native Americans exist in the United States with a population of over four million people. Each has their own language, culture, healers, and tribal customs and religions informed (B. Stuart, Cherry, & J. Stuart, 2011). The purpose of this paper is to inform the reader of cultural influences on end of life care in the Native American culture. Content Beliefs and Practices Native Americans believe that death is a natural and necessary part of life; however, some traditions and rituals may vary from tribe to tribe. Belief in a Great Spirit or Creator is common among the tribes. Native Americans also recognize all living creatures as equals on earth and as having a spirit and soul (Colclough, 2016). Some tribes believe that after a person has passed, the spirit is still alive and enters a realm with the Creator. Other tribes trust that the soul will return to earth in human or animal form through reincarnation (Struthers, Lauderdale, Nichols, Thom-Orme, & Strickland, 2005). Tribal traditions also differ with regard to care of the body. Family members may position the body in a certain way, clothe the body appropriately, burn incense, and have the burial in a special location. In some tribes,
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