Each patient has a differentexperience in the healthcare system solely from the influence of race/ethnicity,culture, socioeconomic status and doctor-patient interaction. Differentpopulations are met with health patterns that other groups aren’t exposed to. There’san absence of quality in their healthcare experience and their health outcomesare controlled by educational attainment and socioeconomic status.
In fact, socioeconomicstatus controls the amount of health services an individual can obtain. Forinstance disadvantaged populations do not have the means to obtain quality ofcare such as health insurance and miss out on opportunities to better theoutcome of their health and met with the burden of illness. Besides this, culturecan delay healthcare delivery for patients and language and beliefs furtherimpact patient experience. Inthe United States it isevident that the ongoing relationship between race and health stems from socialand individualized racism. Patients who are minorities are experiencingincreased rates of morality. For instance African Americans have high deathrates compared to non-Hispanic whites when it comes to the 10 of the 15 leadingcauses of death.
At the same time Hispanics and American Indians have higherdeath rates of diabetes, liver cirrhosis and homicide in the united states ascompared to whites. Institutional prejudicial treatment reduces socioeconomicachievement towards these groups, decreasing their path towards positive healthin the healthcare system. Setting groups apart through health care services produceschronically ill conditions. The social treatment towards minorities slashesassistance and because of this they experience illness quite more often due toother inequity factors. Accordingto Williams reading Miles to Go Before We Sleep there are three points to consider for healthdisparities and that is that income determines the amount of resourcesavailable such as health services and associated follow ups. Secondly, healthis an outcome of low socioeconomic status during youth stages which makes itclear of health differences of groups. Third, discrimination and racism canfurther limit access to benefits and add existing stressors that affect health.Also going to the doctors frequently can decrease the gap when early managementof disease is involved.
Patientslike Robert in the reading Mama might be better off dead : Thefailure of health care in urban Americawho are poor do not get much advantage in the healthcare system therefore theyexperience a long life of illness. Often most of these patientsaren’t eligible for government sponsored insurance like Robert was because hedidn’t meet the requirements to obtain government sponsored insurance. Theabsence of this security in terms of being insured put him into suffering withkidney failure and put his family in a position of financial insecurity. There’sthe imbalance in socioeconomic status determining ones health, further makingit illness unavoidable. Even Roberts wife Jackie’s family members face theburden of many illnesses. Another factorto also consider is the communication between doctors and patients makingillnesses prolong unnecessarily. Roberts doctor knew he had to follow up withhim about an issue with his kidneys but didn’t communicate that to him effectivelywhich later affected his well being and families financial status. In other cases cultural barriers between non-westernfamilies and western health care physicians influence patient experience in theU.
S. healthcare system. Consequences result from culture differences and thedirect impact it has on ones health as in the case of the Lee family in thereading Thespirit catches you and you fall down : A Hmong child, her American doctors, andthe collision of two cultures byFadiman doctors couldn’t take Hmoung patients medical history and had to treattheir case in veterinary medicine. The patients case was treated as an animal sincepatients like Lee’s couldn’t provide clear understanding of Lia’s symptomssince they were illiterate.
Whencommunication is unclear it can bring upon obstacles that are irreversible andcommunication is a factor to consider when it comes to doctor patientinteractions. When western staff cannot grasp patient symptoms off the simplefact that communication is an issue this then puts the patients health at riskof associated illnesses or even death. Sometimes cultural practices can placeones health in danger.
With Lia Lee she has been experiencing epilepsy frombirth and this brought contradicting feels of pride and worry to Lia’s parents.In the Hmong culture epilepsy is referred to as quag dab peg which is causedspiritually where the soul has left the body and in order for the soul to comeback a shaman must work in order to bring the soul back to the body. Prior to Lia’s episodes of seizures the Lee’s blamed theirother child Yer for Lia’s condition because she slammed their apartment door tohard.
That is to say the Hmong cultural beliefs overpower Lia’s reality andtheir cultural beliefs will later become damaging to Lia’s health and wellbeing. Hmong’s believe doctors help but Hmong faith has even more faith tobring back the ‘lost soul’. The Lee’s failed to realizethat epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes seizures that cause many otherhealth problems like aspiration pneumonia in which Lia experienced from herseizures. Lia’s primary doctors Neil and Philp didn’t understand the Lee’scultural faith and thought they were crazy because they weren’t providing Liawith the correct dosages or would even missing dosages. In the case of the Lee’s, Lia’s epilepsy would’ve took a turn for the better iftheir Hmong tradition didn’t have such an impact and as for the doctors if theywould’ve considered the patients viewpoint and let them add on their source ofeffective medication to what’s already prescribed. Everyone would’ve beenon the same page and possibly the well-being of Lia’s condition would hadprogressed instead of deteriorate.
Doctors didn’t accept the Hmong idea behindthe soul. Through the consequences provided Lia was met in a sorrowful position.The healthcare system should give understanding to patients with a differentculture because sometimes there is misunderstanding due to the lack ofadaptation to western culture. Western physicians should be opened to learningto accommodate both practices if the end goal is to protect the well being ofthe patient. Patients can actively involvethemselves in the healthcare system. One way to approach this objective is to takethe HIV/AIDS patient health social movement approach to influence change withinhealthcare. With a purpose to fight for patient rights, advancement in research and healthpractices, further bring attention to different conditions and advocating forfunding for illnesses. In the article TheConstruction of Lay Expertise: AIDS Activism and the Forging of Creditabilityin the Reform of Clinical Trials by Steven Epstein HIV/AIDS lay experts whoeducated themselves on the disease had influence over clinical trials treatmenttargeted towards them.
Taking this approach of learning every aspect ofspecific illness leads to advancement of medical care, furthering ones healthand learning about other associated illnesses. Social health movements makesthe unaware more conscious to early detection and preventative measures totrain for self examination. Patients in the United Stateshealthcare system various understanding to culture, resources and relationshipdetermines the outcome of health.
It is evident that each race and ethnicityexperience health patterns that differentiate them from other groups. Mostimportantly, learning about particular diseases can inhibit continuous health patterns that specific groups are exposed to. As amatter of fact, high socioeconomic status speaks volumes in healthcare forbetter health through which disadvantaged populations lack from. For example,affluent groups have access to medical service and can count on preventative measuresresulting in decreased morality. In correspondence to what has been previouslymentioned healthcare delivery has strong effects on patient experience.