The Importance Of Nurses In The Navajo Community

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Register to read the introduction… The Navajo Indians believe in the idea o hozho and nayee. “Through hozho, the healer offers the patient hope, by emphasizing the positive, the beauty in life. With the concept of nayee, the Navajo are able to objectify and to externalize an illness” (Schneider, 2003). The Navajo community seeks to grasp onto hope and positivity. A health care provider should honor that by emphasizing positivity while caring for them. Pain is something meant to be hidden or handled by the patient. Often times they are not willing to let the nurse or physician know when they are in pain. This makes pain management difficult to monitor within these patients. (Purnell, 2009). Nurses and other health care need to work together with patients in the Navajo community. Often times they have to travel long distances to get to health care facilities. That would mean they would only come if there were a emergency. It is important to provide as much care as possible in the time they are there. Making sure the patient is up to date on immunizations during their visit is crucial because they are not likely to come back for a follow up visit (Purnell, …show more content…
It is considered rude to speak loudly or use a harsh tone when speaking with them. These people are very dependent on and trust those of their own culture. Any other “outsider” (such as a physician, nurse, etc.) will have to work hard to build a trusting relationship with a Navajo patient. Once a trusting relationship is built, they will be more willing to share their feeling or concerns with their health. Also, even if the nurse is familiar with the Navajo language, it is best to use an interpreter. Any slight deviation from their dialect can change the meaning of what is trying to be said. In their language “minor variations in pronunciation may change the entire meaning of a word or phrase” (Purnell, 2009). It is important that if you must touch the Navajo patient, you make sure they will allow it. Touch within this culture is considered special. You do not touch them unless you are very close to them and know them on a personal level. Personal space is considered very important. One last thing the Navajos believe in very strongly is that the body of the deceased be buried whole. With that being said, they are against organ donation and autopsy. If an autopsy is required, it is the responsibility of the nurse or health care provider to explain the importance of the …show more content…
When caring for a patient who leads a different way of life than yourself, it is important to be considerate of their beliefs and concerns. As a nurse it is important that you treat every individual with respect in regards to their cultural beliefs. In the 21st century, modern society, it may be difficult to accept the Navajo’s traditional way of life. Their primitive nature may cause health problems that most nurses would laugh at because they are so easily to prevent in this day and age. Some people may believe in letting the nurse or physician know when they are in pains so that they can be treated. It is important that the nurse providing care for a Navajo patient knows and respects that fact that it is not normal in their culture to express pain. A nurse should never judge or criticize a Navajo for their beliefs in prayer, the importance of spirituality, or the connection of their spirituality and health (Purnell,

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