Cultural Issues Facing Arab Muslims Seeking Healthcare Services in United States

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Introduction This study focuses on the culture of Arab Muslim living in the United States. Arab Muslim population is one of the dramatically increasing minorities in the United States. In addition to other factors, religion and cultural background influence individuals' beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes toward health and illness. However, in Muslim community health care is viewed uniquely and treated same way across the board (Najeh M Ahmad, 2004). Islam culture is very different with various cultures especially on what is perceived as respect and modesty. Therefore a nurse or a health care worker who nurses a patient from a Muslim community should be aware of their beliefs and practices. Their respect to modesty and privacy is expected to be respected and some examination can be done over a gown. Their culture forbids Muslims from eating any other food besides halal food, so a nurse should provide halal food to a Muslim patient (Ashiq Kermalli, 2009). However, the Muslim culture is very specific when it comes to medical examination, for example a female patient should be examined in the presence of another female. Mostly they try to ensure that there is no male in the delivery room except the husband of the patient. A male doctor may only attend to a female patient when there is an emergency situation and there is no female doctor available. Their culture recommends the same sex health care worker where possible (Ahmad F. Yousif, 2009). Muslim receives illness and

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