History, routines, and rituals influence the practice of nursing (Giger & Davidhizer, 2008). There are different dimensions of the Hispanic culture that affect personal life and health. The main feature of Hispanic culture is the social orientation that is based on interdependence, teamwork, and interpersonal relations (Galarraga, 2007). For example, the Hispanic community has a culture of togetherness that values group identity and collective responsibility. The Hispanics are very spiritual; hence, many Hispanics respect the sanctity of life. The culture of collectivity has influenced me to uphold teamwork in my nursing practice. Due to spirituality, I have a strong perception that life should be accorded maximum care by embracing holistic healthcare.
Hot and Cold Theory
The theory is based on the belief that diseases are caused by humoral imbalances, which cause the body to be cold or hot. The theory originated from a healing philosophy that was fostered by the interaction of cultures and religious beliefs. It stipulates that health depend on four body humorals, the black bile, yellow bile, blood and phlegm (Galarraga, 2007). The classifications of the humorals are based on properties of dry, wet, hot and cold. According to the theory, imbalances of the properties cause illnesses. The diseases are categorized either as hot (caliente) or cold (frio). Therefore, the remedies for diseases are also categorized as hot or cold. The treatment of cold diseases entails the use of hot remedies and vice versa (Galarraga, 2007). In my nursing practice, I encounter patients of Hispanic origin who enquire about the food they should consume after treatment. Due to my cultural influence, I advise them based on tenets of hot and cold theory. For example, in the management of the arthritis, which is categorized as a cold disease, I advise the patients to eat foods categorized as hot. The balancing makes the patients comfortable and motivates them to follow the medication instructions.
The Hispanic culture has a strong orientation towards folk medicine and the belief in the spiritual healers (Ortiz &Shields, 2007). The spiritual healers apply curanderismo a holistic treatment, which entails two systems practiced by ‘curandos’ and ‘santeros’. The main belief and idea employed in the curanderismo is that health is a God’s gift (Galarraga, 2007). The santeros heal through prayer, counseling and spiritual practices. On the other hand, the curandos incorporate the aspect of herbal remedies. In many cases, one person provides the services in order to address the physical and spiritual aspect. The perception has influenced my nursing practice. For example, in addition to the conventional health practices, I counsel the patients; hence, ensuring holistic treatment. After carrying out a medical procedure on a patient, I counsel the patient to trust in God because health is a gift from God. The holistic care restores the patient’s confidence in the medication and ignites both the physical and spiritual healing process.
The Hispanic culture has significantly influenced my nursing practice. In my practice, I uphold the sanctity of life, value teamwork and employ holistic treatment that touches on the physical and spiritual wellbeing of the patients. My nursing work integrates the positive cultural beliefs that are underpinned by the hot and cold theory. The cultural influences have helped me to meet the needs of the patients holistically, relate to my colleagues and foster confidence to the Hispanic patients.
Galarraga, J. (2007). Hispanic-American culture and health. New York, NY: National League for Nursing Press.
Giger, J., & Davidhizer, R. (2008). Introduction to trans-cultural nursing. St. Louis: Mosby.
Ortiz, B., & Shields, K. (2007). Complementary and alternative medicine use among Hispanics in the United States. The Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 41 (6), 994- 1004.