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Journal of Nursing Research and Practice

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Hispanic culture and healthcare in the United States: One person’s perspective

Author(s): Melanie Julia Johnson* and Hope Rosemarie Farquharson

Culturally competent care in the United States? There are approximately 60.4 million people of Hispanic origin living the United States today. This population is the largest minority population in our country and many healthcare providers will come in contact with persons of this culture when providing care. This population is rich in tradition and religious foundation often guiding healthcare beliefs and health practices in the home. Cultural beliefs, and religious affiliation, in conjunction with barriers to healthcare such as lack of access to care, healthcare provider unfamiliarity with the culture, perception of care, and language are all factors that deter people of this culture from getting medical help and attention when needed. The purpose of this article is to familiarize the reader with some common beliefs and traditions in the Hispanic culture as seen through the eyes of a person of this culture and to fortify the need for all healthcare providers and nurses in the U.S. to become culturally competent not only the Hispanic culture, but all the cultures they provide care for. Culturally competent providers can break down barriers to healthcare by providing a more comfortable and accessible environment for the Hispanic client thus changing their perception of that care in the future with an optimal goal of decreasing incidences of chronic illness and improving health outcomes.

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