Latino Culture Essay

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define the term, “Latino” or, “Hispanic” as “a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin” (Arias, 2010). In the United States, Latinos have comprised 16 percent of the population, making them the largest minority. Some sources project that this proportion will increase to 30 percent by 2050 (Juckett, 2013). With such a presence of Hispanic people, it is very likely that nurses will have the opportunity to provide culturally competent care to these individuals. As such, it is important to know how the Latino culture generally regards health, illness, disease, and death. The people of the Hispanic culture can regard health in a unique …show more content…

Latino traditions include the use of curanderos, healers. Curanderos may distinguish between “hot” and “cold” illnesses and occasionally between natural and supernatural diseases. The purpose of labeling hot and cold illnesses is finding a balance between the two temperatures in order to heal the disease. For instance, a mother might follow the advice to use cooling herbs to treat diaper rash, which is considered a hot condition. However, she might also stop giving her infant vitamins, because they are a hot therapy (Juckett, 2013). As such, it is important to ask the patients what alternative methods they are utilizing in order to properly advise them against harmful practices, though, as Juckett (2013) states, many folk and herbal treatments are harmless and can be safely accommodated. Other beliefs include that abdominal pain may be attributed to food stuck in the intestine and that a child’s failure to thrive may be caused by a hex given to the child due to an envious glance. Again, though most therapies and responses to illness and disease are not harmless, lead salts and mercury compounds may be given for food stuck in the intestine and teething. These therapies are not advised to be used (Juckett, 2013). As with illness and disease, Hispanic culture responds to death in its own

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