NURS 6512 Discussion: Diversity and Health Assessments Essay

NURS 6512 Discussion: Diversity and Health Assessments Essay

NURS 6512 Discussion: Diversity and Health Assessments Essay

Nurses consider a patient’s sociocultural, religious, and socioeconomic background when collecting information regarding health assessment. The interview techniques and questions that evaluate a patient’s lifestyle and background factors that impact health outcomes differ for populations. Additionally, nurses must be aware of patients from vulnerable populations and apply sensitivity when seeking health and social information. Hence, cultural competence and awareness are critical skills in health interviews. In the assigned case, a 54-year-old Caucasian male is a homeless man with problems related to alcohol withdrawal. The patient is homeless living in a homeless shelter. He is withdrawing from cocaine and alcohol addiction but still maintains cigarette smoking. The patient has run out of his Amlodipine 10 mg prescription for hypertension.

Socioeconomic and Lifestyle Factors

AG is impacted by socioeconomic conditions that affect his health outcomes. According to the case, the patient is homeless, living in a homeless shelter, meaning he does not have a home and perhaps a job. Homelessness is a social-economic factor that exposes a person to the risk of poor health outcomes. According to Osei Asibey et al. (2020), homelessness is associated with physical, mental health, and healthcare utilization problems. Some of the health issues experienced by homeless individuals include malnutrition, HIV and AIDS, mental health problems, lung disease, and other infections.The patient is most likely unemployed, another socioeconomic condition exposing him to poor health outcomes. As part of the assessment, it would be important to evaluate the AG’s employment status. People without employment or with low-income employment equally face social determinants of health that promote poor health outcomes (Coleman, 2019). For example, lack of adequate finances reduces access to healthcare services, insurance, and a healthy lifestyle. In this case, the patient is not taking Amlodipine 10 mg because he cannot afford to buy it due to poor or no income.

The lifestyle issues affecting the patient are hypertension, cigarette smoking, and a history of alcohol and cocaine addiction. These indicate that the patient has been leading unhealthy lifestyle Hypertension is a chronic condition that requires proper management and constant medication to prevent stroke and other fatal cardiovascular events. Additionally, cocaine, alcohol, and cigarettesexacerbate the hypertensive condition worsening the risk of stroke and heart disease. This is a concern because heart disease is the leading cause of death in the country and disproportionately affects people from the low socioeconomic background (Schultz et al., 2018). Apart from heart-related conditions, smoking also poses the risk of lung cancer, yet the patient is not willing to cease as it calms him from the effects of withdrawal. Given the patient’s lifestyle, health education is critical to promote proper self-management and healthy behavior (Coleman, 2019). Patient education will focus on the benefits of cigarette smoking to encourage the patient to choose health-promoting habits.

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Sensitive Issues

Given the patient’s age and his living in a homeless shelter, the health interview is likely to be uncomfortable because of feelings of shame and fear of stigma. The nurse should first attempt to determine the circumstances that led AG to his current situation. While talking to him, the nurse should remember to express empathy and avoid judgment or stigmatization. This is important because the patient might not be free to talk if they feel judged or stigmatized. The nurse should express care and compassion to remind the patient that he is valuable regardless of socioeconomic status. This is because healthcare providers as patient advocates must ensure that vulnerable and underserved patients receive equal treatment and access to health services as other members of society.

Targeted Questions

How did you end up being homeless?

What is your highest level of education?

Have you ever been employed?

When did you start using cocaine and alcohol?

What kinds of meals do you get at the homeless shelter? Are they healthy?

Do you have any religious or cultural beliefs that you believe are important to decisions regarding your health and wellbeing?

Do you ever experience sadness, hopelessness, or thoughts of harming yourself?

Do you have any family members?


Coleman, D. E. (2019). Evidence-based nursing practise: The challenges of health care and cultural diversity. Journal of Hospital Librarianship, 19:4, 330-338, https://doi.10.1080/15323269.2019.1661734.

Osei Asibey, B., Conroy, E., & Marjadi, B. (2020). Health problems and healthcare service utilization amongst homeless adults in Africa- a scoping review. BMC Public Health, 20, 594.

Schultz, W. M., Kelli, H., Lisko, J., Varghes, T., Shen, J., & Sandesara, P. (2018). Socioeconomic status and cardiovascular outcomes: Challenges and interventions. Circulation, 137, 2166–2178.


NURS 6512: Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning
Discussion: Diversity and Health Assessments
May 2012, Alice Randall wrote an article for The New York Times on the cultural factors that encouraged black women to maintain a weight above what is considered healthy. Randall explained—from her observations and her personal experience as a black woman—that many African-American communities and cultures consider women who are overweight to be more beautiful and desirable than women at a healthier weight. As she put it, “Many black women are fat because we want to be” (Randall, 2012).
Randall’s statements sparked a great deal of controversy and debate; however, they emphasize an underlying reality in the healthcare field: different populations, cultures, and groups have diverse beliefs and practices that impact their health. Nurses and healthcare professionals should be aware of this reality and adapt their health assessment techniques and recommendations to accommodate diversity.

In this Discussion, you will consider different socioeconomic, spiritual, lifestyle, and other cultural factors that should be taken into considerations when building a health history for patients with diverse backgrounds. Your Instructor will assign a case study to you for this Discussion.
To prepare:
• Reflect on your experiences as a nurse and on the information provided in this week’s Learning Resources on diversity issues in health assessments.

• Reflect on the specific socioeconomic, spiritual, lifestyle, and other cultural factors related to the health of the patient assigned to you.
• Consider how you would build a health history for the patient. What questions would you ask, and how would you frame them to be sensitive to the patient’s background, lifestyle, and culture? Develop five targeted questions you would ask the patient to build his or her health history and to assess his or her health risks.
• Think about the challenges associated with communicating with patients from a variety of specific populations. What strategies can you as a nurse employ to be sensitive to different cultural factors while gathering the pertinent information?
• Utilize at least 3 scholarly, peer reviewed sources.
• Utilize SafeAssign drafts for authenticity report before final submission.
Post an explanation of the specific socioeconomic, spiritual, lifestyle, and other cultural factors associated with the patient in the assigned case study below. Explain the issues that you would need to be sensitive to when interacting with the patient, and why. Provide at least five targeted questions you would ask the patient to build his or her health history and to assess his or her health risks.

AG is a 54-year-old Caucasian male who was referred to your clinic to establish care after a recent hospitalization after having a seizure related to alcohol withdrawal. He has hypertension and a history of alcohol and cocaine abuse. He is homeless and is currently living at a local homeless shelter. He reports that he is out of his Amlodipine 10 mg which he takes for hypertension. He reports he is abstaining from alcohol and cocaine but needs to smoke cigarettes to calm down since he is not drinking anymore.


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