Native American Communities essay

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The Native American Indian and Alaskan communities have been stubborn in letting go their cultures and traditional beliefs, some of which creating health disparities. Alcohol misuse is one of the serious health problems. Another traditional belief affecting the healthcare system is the belief in traditional medicine and caregivers. The communities become reluctant in seeking the modern treatment since they trust their traditional healers to a great extent. The other cause of the health disparity is the value placed on extended families. The communities value the extended families a lot and believe that they should form a part of the treatment process. They continue to reject the current health system since they feel it is individualized. Use of nonverbal communication by these communities also makes it hard for medical practitioners from other areas to provide their services (Daley & James, 2004).

One of the ways that the traditions and cultures of these communities would use to improve the current system is adopting traditional healing processes which they widely practice. They believe in paying attention to holistic treatment of the soul, body, and mind. They also incorporate the whole community in the healing process. The other way of improving the current system is using traditional healers. Research shows that these communities use the services of traditional healers more widely than of the modern specialties. The traditional healers should be trained on the modern health system so that they can help the medical practitioners reduce the disparities in these communities. They do not isolate a part of the person to heal; instead, they concentrate on healing the person in whole while receiving support from the community. Incorporating culturally competent health services would significantly improve the accessibility of health services by these communities. The other aspect is the recognition that health is not just about the body, but also about the mind and spirit (Porter, 2007). 

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