Heritage Assessment




Heritageassessment tool is a framework used by health intellectuals tocollect personal or group data. The assessment enables for thecollection of sociological, physiological, spiritual, andpsychological data of individual of diverse cultural backgrounds withthe aim of conducting health tradition analysis. Heritage assessmentis employed during the initial stage of the health procedure wherebythe nursing professionals offers an inclusive data gathering in whichthe life and medial history of a person are provided. A frame-foundednursing school of thought is employed by health professionals duringthe exercise. The aim is to classify the health problems provided bythe individual. After the assessment, the report is taken as acurrent or potential predicament. Prioritization is done to currentproblems while potential problems are regarded as risk factors.

Throughthe heritage assessment tool, the cultures of individuals areidentified. These include the values, traditions, and behaviors of acertain cultural group. Cultural heritage is defined as set oftraditions of a certain cultural group that is passed on from onegeneration to the other in a family. Certainly, the decisions of anindividual linked with education, religious practices and beliefs,everyday activities, and disease and health beliefs and practices arefounded on these traditions. The current paper aims to investigatethe effectiveness of heritage assessment in assessing the needs of anindividual. A heritage assessment is performed on three families fromdifferent cultures in which their health maintenance, healthpromotion, and health restoration is analyzed. Health traditions ofthe three families are also assessed. These families include Indian,Nigerian, and Arab. Through this evaluation, differences andsimilarities in traditions are made known. These assist the nurse tooffer a holistic approach in the delivery of care in order to achievethe best health results. Certainly, heritage assessment is asignificant method of discovering the cultural beliefs and values ofa patient in order to ensure health protection, maintenance, as wellas restoration (Gordon,et al 2006).

HealthTraditions Based on Cultural Heritage

Thetraditional beliefs, practices and customs of an Indian as related tohealth are varied. Indians are recognized by their ability to endureand entertain guests regardless of their cultural backgrounds.According to Indians, and in particular the older generation, wealthand health are linked with body, soul, and mind. People usually seekmedical care for certain diseases including aches and others whoseorigin is not recognized. However, such diseases such as mentalillness are rarely reported to health practitioners as people areembarrassed to do so. According to Shapiro (n.d), mental healthpatients wait to obtain help from healthcare staffs. India use bothwestern and traditional medicines for disease treatment. Traditionalmedicines encompass Homeopathy, Unani, Ayurveda, Naturopathy,Acupressure, and Siddha. Ayurveda is very common and it is alsoreferred to as “the science of life” (Shapiro, n.d). As put forthby Gordon et al (2006), it manages a wide array of medical aspectswhich emphasize on the welfare of mind, body and soul. This isattained through rejuvenating daily life activities as well as theemployment of yoga. Herbal medicine is considered effective inaccelerating the healing process.

Inthe current time, Indians put more emphasis on the prevention ofdiseases than cure. More significance is provided to healthmaintenance, protection as well as restoration. This is achievedthrough vaccinations, physical examinations, as well as healthscreenings. The societies are also characterized by public healthservices whose major work is incorporate and enhance optimal health.The provision of nutritious and hygienic water and foods and ensuringclean environments particularly in public sectors and learninginstitutions obtain key attention from the government. Healthpromotion is achieved through the provision of health education.Screening tests are done for various conditions includinghypertension, diabetes, and cardiac diseases amongst others and thisensures health promotion in the society (Gordon,et al 2006). These are offered through private and public health carewhich are equipped with contemporary facilities. Health promotion isalso done through media such as newspapers and television whereindividuals are educated and motivated to get immunized and how toprevent communicable diseases. Indians are reserved thus choose samesex medical practitioners. The Indian family is strongly attached toits culture. Family members are encouraged to seek medical advice,reveal diseases, in order to obtain proper diagnosis and treatment.

Nextwas the Nigerian family. In Nigeria, life is delineated as aprocedure and their health beliefs and traditions are quite diverse.The physical, mental and spiritual features are interrelated, andsound health signifies harmony with the world. Nigerians believe thatinborn illnesses take place as a result of various factors includingrain, cold air, dirty food and heat. Besides, they believe in thesubsistence of evil spirits and demons which cause diseases (WorldHealth Organization,n.d). Traditional healers assist individuals in dismissing the evilspirits. The health policy of Nigeria is to attain best possiblehealth for the whole population. In order to achieve this, thegovernment joined forces with the World Health Organization (WHO) andlaunched health education services aimed at fighting non-communicableand communicable illnesses, as well as HIV/AIDS (WorldHealth Organization, n.d).The overall aim is promoting healthy everyday life amongst all theNigerian citizens (WHO, n.d).

Lastlywas the Arab family. Health traditions of Arabs are quite differentfrom those of Indian and Nigerian. Arabs are Muslims who have a lotof superstitions in the evil eye which they think results in diseases(TransculturalNursing, 2008).In order to protect themselves, individuals wear extraordinaryperfumes and bracelets. In the current time however, most Arabs aregetting educated a move that is helping them do away with thesecustoms. In order to promote and preserve health, Arabs believe inenhancing hygiene as well as nutritious food practices (TransculturalNursing, 2008).Most individuals, and especially the modern generation, are wellequipped with scientific medicines knowledge. As a result, they seekmedical assistance in case of any illness. Great emphasis is given todisease prevention and health promotion by the government. As aresult, government hospitals provide free medical care to all Arabs.In here, people are immunized and screened to prevent and detectdiseases respectively. Health restoration is promoted through themedia. Besides, Arabs are conservative thus seek for same sex medicalpractitioners.

Comparisonbetween the Three Families

Theheritage assessment of the three cultures revealed varioussimilarities and differences on health traditions. For instance, boththe Indian and Arab families seek for same sex care practitioners formedical consultations considering that they are extremelyconservative of their traditions. Nigerians and Arabs aresuperstitious and they consider that certain diseases are caused bysuch superstitions. As a result, both cultures indulge in varioustraditional practices in order to prevent them. In all cultures,disease prevention and health promotion are key, with the governmentsplaying major role to achieve best health outcomes. Immunizations toprevent diseases and screening to detect illness are done ingovernment hospitals and people are encouraged to participate in theexercises. Health promotion is also done through the media thatencourages health education. People have turned to medical facilitiesfor consultations in the current time and this has been enabled bythe knowledge economy.


Thepaper has focused on heritage assessment of three families fromdifferent cultures. Heritageassessment is employed during the initial stage of the healthprocedure whereby the nursing professionals offers an inclusive datagathering in which the life and medial history of a person areprovided. Certainly,promoting health is a significant aspect for the social and economicdevelopment of any nation. Besides, it assists in preventing healthinequalities. Understanding cultural heritage of every person isparamount in promoting health. The health care needs of individualsare different depending with their cultures, values and traditionsand thus, they should be personalized in order to achieve best carepossible. Thedecisions of an individual linked with education, religious practicesand beliefs, everyday activities, and disease and health beliefs andpractices are founded on beliefs and traditions. Inthe current time, people have gained knowledge regarding healthpromotion and they are seeking medical attention for consultations.The government is also playing a key role in maintaining andpromoting health. This is evidenced by various education programsoffered to educate individuals about health promotion. Furthermore,government hospitals offer free immunizations, a move indicatinghealth promotion.


Gordon,S., Bernadett, M., Evans, D., Shapiro, N.B., Patel, U. (2006). AsianIndian culture: influences and implications of health care.Retrieved fromhttp://www.molinahealthcare.com/medicaid/providers/common/pdf/asian%20indian%20culture%20-%20influences%20and%20implications%20for%20health%20care_material%20and%20test.pdf?E=true

Shapiro,M. E. (n d). Asianculture brief: India.2(4). Retrieved fromhttp://www.hawaii.edu/hivandaids/Asian_Culture_Brief__India.pdf

TransculturalNursing, (2008). The Middle Eastern Community. Retrieved fromhttp://www.culturediversity.org/mide.htm

WorldHealth Organization, (n d). Health Promotion in Nigeria.Retrieved fromhttp://www.afro.who.int/en/nigeria/country-programmes/health-promotion.html