Native Americans And Western Medicine

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Understanding Native Americans and Western Medicine Essential Knowledge for Providing Culturally Competent Care to Native Americans Brittany Schelitzche Writing for Healthcare Hennepin Technical College Native Americans and Western Medicine: Essential Knowledge for Providing Culturally Competent Care to Native Americans Many Alaskan Natives and Native Indians, also known as American Indians, share the same or similar views on health and medicine. Their definition of “traditional medicine” incorporates medicine and religion, various chants and rituals, and being one with Earth (Broome, B., Broome, R., 2007). “In the United States we are challenged to think about health care from our tradition as a cultural melting pot. Therefore, we must address the large range of individual health care needs from populations living the inner-city and suburbia to those in rural environments.” (O 'Brien, Anslow, Begay, Pereira, & Sullivan, 2002). It is important for healthcare workers to understand the views of American Indians in order to integrate their traditional medicine as well as western medicine. Examining areas such as common health conditions, treatments, and attitudes towards health, natural and alternative health will lead to a better capability of providing culturally competent care. Introduction and Background Native Americans, such as Navajo and Cherokee, have been in the United States for the past 12,000 years (Horowitz, 2012). Although those are the two most
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