Mind, Body And Spirit: The Navajo Culture

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The Navajo Indians Mind, body and spirit are the foundation of the Navajo community. The Navajo culture is known to be very primitive and reserved. This could cause some complications in the health care field. Their basic lifestyle may lead to several health complications, belief in prayer and evil spirits is prominent, they believe that the role of a physician is to be a partner in their healing, there are several nursing practices that need to be considered when caring for a Navajo patient, and as a nurse it is important to treat these people with respect even if their ways may seems unorthodox. The traditional Navajo Indians have a very primitive lifestyle. This means that they don’t necessarily have the best living conditions and…show more content…
(Purnell, 2009). Nurses and other health care need to work together with patients in the Navajo community. Often times they have to travel long distances to get to health care facilities. That would mean they would only come if there were a emergency. It is important to provide as much care as possible in the time they are there. Making sure the patient is up to date on immunizations during their visit is crucial because they are not likely to come back for a follow up visit (Purnell, 2009). There are many things to consider while providing medical care and communicating to those of the Navajo culture. It is considered rude to speak loudly or use a harsh tone when speaking with them. These people are very dependent on and trust those of their own culture. Any other “outsider” (such as a physician, nurse, etc.) will have to work hard to build a trusting relationship with a Navajo patient. Once a trusting relationship is built, they will be more willing to share their feeling or concerns with their health. Also, even if the nurse is familiar with the Navajo language, it is best to use an interpreter. Any slight deviation from their dialect can change the meaning of what is trying to be said. In their language “minor variations in pronunciation may change the entire meaning of a word or phrase” (Purnell, 2009). It is important that if you must touch the Navajo patient, you make sure they will allow it. Touch within
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