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Heritage Assessment: Linking Heritage to Health
Tricia Wharton
Grand Canyon University: 429V
August 23rd 2015

Heritage Assessment: Assessing Culture and Health
The care needs of patients continue to change, as the United States population becomes more diverse. Nurses will be required to be more knowledgeable and respectful of the differences in cultural and religious beliefs as this diversity continues. The American Nurses Association (ANA) states, “knowledge of cultural diversity is vital at all levels of nursing practice…nurses need to understand: how cultural group groups define health and illness; what cultural groups do to maintain wellness; what cultural groups believe to be the causes of illness; and how healers cure and care for members of cultural groups.” (1991).
The Heritage Assessment Tool (HAT) is comprised of 29 questions utilized to investigate a given patient’s ethnic, religious and cultural background. The assessment tool assists with building trusting and therapeutic nurse-patient relationships that will ensure care standards are met (Spector, 2009). HAT is a resource that will be most useful in determining the influence the family, ethnic and religious communities play in a patient’s health maintenance, health protection, and health restoration. With adequate knowledge, nurses are able to offer medical care that is complementary to traditional beliefs or treatment (Spector, 2009). The following paper will discuss the usefulness of applying the HAT when evaluating three culturally diverse families. Families from Vietnam, Lebanon, and Sicily were interviewed utilizing the heritage assessment tool and identified differences in health maintenance, health protection, and health restoration will be discussed. Also included in the paper, the author will discuss common health traditions based on cultural heritage and the effect of westernized…...

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