Something in my Nursing textbook
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17-03-2012, 01:04 PM
Something in my Nursing textbook
I thought this was entertaining and wanted to share it. It is as the topic suggests out of my nursing textbook.

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In contrast to the biological scientific approach of Western medicine is the belief in the spirit world. Science may consider a person's behavior to be abnormal or even psychotic if spirits, angels, or a deity is involved. Members of that culture may hear the spirits talking. Some individuals believe in a curse or "evil eye." Western medicine traditionally considers this type of belief a deviation, whereas it may be an accepted belief in a client's culture.

Lippincott Wiliams & Wilkins - Textbook of Basic Nursing
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I find it funny that our instructors completely skipped this chapter. Maybe next semester.

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17-03-2012, 02:12 PM
RE: Something in my Nursing textbook
It's important to point out that it's accepted in the culture, otherwise, you might get nurses thinking some people are hallucinating or delirious (or out of their gourd) because they are simply following their culture. I'm wondering how much harder it makes to diagnose some mental problems because of acceptable behavior of some religions. Actually, I wonder how many problems they cause...

It's funny though, because it applies to all religions basically. I'm not sure many religious people would pick up on that and probably think it applies to people outside their religion. Do you have a lot of religious people in the class?

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17-03-2012, 02:47 PM
RE: Something in my Nursing textbook
I could probably just let you guess about the class members simply by saying I live in Louisiana. But ya I think 1 or 2 out of 35-40 are at least Agnostic. Besides my wife and myself that is.

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17-03-2012, 07:55 PM
RE: Something in my Nursing textbook
(17-03-2012 02:12 PM)craniumonempty Wrote:  It's important to point out that it's accepted in the culture, otherwise, you might get nurses thinking some people are hallucinating or delirious (or out of their gourd) because they are simply following their culture. I'm wondering how much harder it makes to diagnose some mental problems because of acceptable behavior of some religions. Actually, I wonder how many problems they cause...

It's funny though, because it applies to all religions basically. I'm not sure many religious people would pick up on that and probably think it applies to people outside their religion. Do you have a lot of religious people in the class?

That's not the problem.
The danger is that someone has a medical problem that will go undiagnosed because it is ascribed to the fantasy beliefs of the culture.

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22-04-2012, 10:03 AM
RE: Something in my Nursing textbook
Clint;

I am a hospitalist, but one of the hats I wear is as a bioethics consultant for several hospitals. It is definitively important to understand the context of your patient’s and their significant other's belief systems. It will help explain what motivates them, some of their behaviors, and especially their interpretations of what you say. Often you can find a common ground in which both you and the patient can translate each other’s agenda and intent.

What is most challenging for me is when a common ground is difficult to find, either because their beliefs are so fantastical or there is a secondary gain underlying that is in direct conflict with the goals of care. In such cases, it is helpful to get back to basics; “we very much want to help you” or “we all care for you” (or your dad, your mom, your wife). While I do not push my beliefs on my patients or their families, I am transparent of the fact that I am a Doctor of Western Medicine and Science, and that is what I deliver in consultation.

A great book on topic is The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman.

I am surprised that your teachers skipped this chapter as teaching culturalism and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is all the rage right now in medical programs. Perhaps they figured future classes will cover?


Your beliefs do not make you a better person, your behavior does.
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22-04-2012, 11:13 AM
RE: Something in my Nursing textbook
Unless I am missing something that seemed like a reasonable statement.
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