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Culturally specific care has been incorporated into the mainstream health care by most of the health providers and caregivers. The rationale is informed by the need to be sensitive to the cultural requirements of the patient or the client. The Jewish community is known to be quite susceptible to the religion, besides other aspects of their culture. Therefore, any care provided to a Jewish community member must put the latter fact into account. The problem is studied since it is a major issue in the nursing practice. It has a significant influence in the success of therapies among patients who are culturally sensitive. In addition, the issue is essential in the professional practice of nurses as it touches on the ethics in handling the issue. The present research paper aims at finding out and understanding how culturally specific care is integrated when working with patients and families from the Jewish culture.
Background of the Study
The potential health care problem identified for understanding the specific care is physiotherapy care for Jewish females recuperating from a radical mastectomy. It is important to point out what kind of care the patients correctly require at this stage in time (Josipovic, 2000). The patients need physical therapies and support as they recover. They need help to dress as the family members are not available and only come to see them in the evening. The patients have to be assisted to perform the essential tasks. Even feeding themselves is a real struggle as they still have a lot of pain and cannot stand straight. The inability implies that there is an intense physical contact in carrying out of the treatment.
Methods of the Study
The method adopted for the study was the qualitative approach. The method design was in such a way that the culturally-sensitive patients would respond to the related cultural issues connected with nursing and treatment. The study was designed to reflect the feelings of the Jewish community members in different types of therapies and treatments. Two thousand members of the community were selected to participate in the questionnaire. The chosen method was easy to administer within a short period. The use of the method makes it possible to involve a huge number of participants using minimal resources. The selected group was asked to respond to how they prefer treatments by nurses within different therapeutic setups.
Results showed that males and females preferred to be addressed by nurses of the same sex. In the cases where the nurses of the opposite sex were involved in the treatment, most of the patients preferred the presence of a friend or a relative. 90% of the respondents said that they would like to be treated by nurses of the same sex. 10% of those who were comfortable with treatments by a nurse of the opposite sex stated that they would prefer such procedures to take place in the presence of others. Only an insignificant number stated that they would not mind the sex of the therapist. Although the patients had no problems receiving the therapeutic care from nurses of the opposite sex, they were concerned about the perceptions of the relatives. They claimed that they were rather strict about the physical contact between two persons of the opposite gender. The application is due to their strict adherence to their religion of Judaism. Most of the relatives believe that female patients should only be attended by female therapists in treatments that involve an intense body contact (Campinha‐Bacote, 1995). All treatments are covered by health insurance that includes family members as well. According to the Jewish culture, it is inappropriate for members of the opposite gender to spend extended periods of times together, unless they are family members or relatives. The majority of the respondents expressed the above concern. Besides, there is the issue of the Sabbath day where most of the therapies are avoided as much as possible (Lawrence, & Rozmus, 2001).
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The respondents agreed that the care should be conducted in the presence of visiting relatives to balance the demands of the culture/religion and the health needs of the patient. Such an approach would eradicate any conflict and ensure the smooth continuation of the therapies.
Despite the concerns that the culture and religion pose, they all agreed that the therapy sessions must be adhered to as prescribed by the physician. As a professional nurse, one should endeavor to respect and value the religious and cultural needs of all patients. Any decisions made by the family based on cultural and religious needs of the patient should be adhered to. It is only so as long as the decision does not clash with the therapy's personal and professional ethics. Additionally, the visiting relatives would be assisting in certain physical activities with the guidance of the nurse (Leininger, 2002). Such activities would eliminate certain contacts that are deemed culturally and religiously inappropriate. Torah, which is the supreme religious law, is highly respected, and the individual must endeavor to respect it. As a culturally sensitive nurse, one should respect it as well.
The most appropriate therapeutic interventions are adopted. The intervention is a hybrid of both the medical requirements of the therapy and the need to observe the cultural conditions of the patient (McEvoy, 2003). It ensures that the health care needs of the patient are adhered while a medical professional observes and respects cultural and religious boundaries. With the inclusion of the relatives into the therapy sessions, there would be no interference with the goals of the treatment (Ruddock & Turner, 2007). The expected outcomes are achieved within the set time frame. The patient would still command the respect from the family informed by her level of interaction with a male caregiver.