Misunderstandings In Hmong Medicine

1549 Words7 Pages

Throughout the story, there were endless occurrences where the Hmong’s values clashed with the Americans. To start, the Lee’s thought that if a dab gave Lia her illness their family would be able to treat Lia to get her speaking again. But, the Lee’s thought that since Lia got sick in America that they have “…done this to her, and our medicine cannot fix that” (p. 258). Again, the Hmong value their ethnic medicine due to the ancestor’s progressive, trusted therapy techniques, and therefore utilized their treatments without hesitation. This clashes with the westerner’s medicine because they solemnly use supplementary therapies that are consistent with Hmong medicine. I feel like there were many misunderstandings about the purpose of the medicinal …show more content…

The nurse approached Nao Kao about the situation, but he/she explained in the charting that it was “…difficult due to communication barrier” (p. 43). Because of this miscommunication, Lia fell out of her crib, and the father’s trust was impaired. Also, the nurses acted on Lia’s fall by secluding her in her crib with a net. This occurrence could have been handled much differently if the nurse responded to the family’s needs by getting a translator involved. The translator could have given the family a bigger perspective on why they were isolating Lia to her crib. Again, with the nurse putting a net over top of the crib it caused more confusion for the Lee’s. The family valued being in close proximity of Lia, and they used this closeness to comfort her when she was in pain or upset. Without this connection, the Lee’s were lost and distraught. As mentioned above, this cultural insensitivity resulted in mistrust from the family, and Lia was taken away from them. Likewise, it caused Lia to be scared, and unable to be close to the one thing she felt comfort for, which was her …show more content…

Lia’s family cherished their own remedies and utilization of the txiv neeb. The Hmong did not understand the purpose or action of the medication that Lia was on, but they did notice the positive and negative changes in their daughter. I feel like the doctors involved in Lia’s case did not recognize the Lee’s discomfort and ‘non-compliance’ with the medication regime. Again, I feel like the health care professionals did not value the reasoning behind why the family was not giving Lia the medication. They saw Foua as “…either very stupid or a loonybird” (p.47). The doctors kept prescribing endless amounts of medications, and were struggling to keep the family up to date on each change, and what medication needed to be given when etc. Even though the care staff labeled the medication bottles with different lines, colors, and symbols the family could not grasp what was needed. Plus, they go by the ‘cock-crowe’ time, so all of the implied times that the medication should have been given was much different for the Lee’s. I found that this inconsistency allowed the care staff to make judgments before consulting with other people who could help the Hmong through the bizarre medication regime. The professionals could have come together to understand the culture of Lia’s family, and consult more

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