Public Health Essay: Culture and Culture Competency in Health Promotion

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653 words
Wesleyan University
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Public health and nutrition is a domain set to emphasize the application of proper knowledge on nutrition and research to determine improvement of nations health. Professionals should look into the aspect of social and behavioral factors, which affect health and how applied programs will affect the health of the countries, especially the vulnerable nations. Community nutrition aimed at individual and interpersonal level intervention creates knowledge aimed at changing the mindset and attitudes of persons concerning diet.

The three fundamental points to include in a public nutrition program would be teaching practical health information, shaping individual value related to nutrition, and shaping the group norms thereby valuing a healthy lifestyle. In the past, nutrition problems were prevalent in developing countries, which do not have access to necessities like food. Nevertheless, this is gradually changing such that America, which is vast with technology is experiencing nutritional problem including obesity. Such has been a problem where the health experts say that people are at a risk of contracting other diseases as a result. People need to know about their health and a better diet since personal values dictate the way of life and behaviors of an individual. The particular values held dearly are priorities in life. A nutrition program can be set to change personal preferences and set health as being the first one. People can compromise a bit, but they should stay focused and take up a healthy diet. Racial and ethnic minority groups are at a higher risk of poor nutrition as stated by SAMHSA (2016). Such is because of the problems, which they encounter including poor access to health programs and higher social, environmental, and economic risk factors. Poor health of the minority groups consists of the statistics of the overall population of the United States. As such, it should be a priority of a public health program to focus more on improving the lives of these people and therefore the overall health of the nation.

Regarding cultural competence, nurses qualify when they have the attitude, knowledge, and skills to cater for people of diverse ethnicity. Every person in the United States deserves a healthy lifestyle, though some ethnic groups have better health than others do. These groups have low access to education, are affected by racism, and discrimination (Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion 2016). The knowledge of these factors by the nurse helps in the administration of care. The care provided by a nurse is determined by his or her perception of the illness and that of the patient. A nurse needs to be aware of the patients ethnic group and the values and traditions shared. Research is still in process about how various diseases affect the health and nutrition of different groups. According to Betancourt, Green, Carrillo, and Owusu Ananeh-Firempong (2016), a nurse needs to learn about the attitudes of various groups to become culturally competent. Such allows the nurse to plan the best care for the patient by understanding communication patterns and customs, the division of labor and religious aspects of the groups. All in all, a nurse is expected to develop skills which facilitates communication with the diverse groups, and which gives the patient an opportunity to understand the best care for the patients. For example, leaning a new skill can include adopting a new language or seeking for a translator to facilitate communication, and setting up of the hospital facility to become a conducive environment and identify with the culture of diverse racial and minority groups.



SAMHSA. (2016, February 18). Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations. Retrieved November 01, 2017, from

Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2016, November 29). Retrieved November 01, 2017, from

Betancourt, J. R., Green, A. R., Carrillo, J. E., & Owusu Ananeh-Firempong, I. I. (2016). Defining cultural competence: a practical framework for addressing racial/ethnic disparities in health and healthcare. Journal of Public health reports, 118, 293-302


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