Hypertension in Hispanic community

Hypertension also referred to as high blood pressure affects a large number of Americans and people of all origin. Commonly known as the silent killer because of its asymptomatic nature, hypertension leads to the death of so many regardless of their age or economic status. Several studies on the disease have linked hypertension to individuals’ lifestyles with various measures put in place as a way of curbing its effects (Heart Disease and Stroke, n.d.). Without proper treatment, many hypertensive patients may face devastating complications, including myocardial infarction, kidney failure, and blindness. This paper analyzes the factors contributing to increasing rates of hypertension in Hispanics and ways of reducing the number of individuals affected together with ways of improving the conditions

Studies done have over time proven that Hispanics have higher rates of mortality caused by hypertension complications. Risk factors that increase the prevalence include higher poverty levels, poor diets, smoking, cultural barriers, stressful lifestyle, obesity and physical inactivity. Additionally, several barriers inhibit Hispanics from accessing healthcare facility and at the same time prevent health practitioners from offering quality services (Melton, Foli, Yehle & Griggs, 2015, p.19). Firstly, communication barriers such as lack of proficiency in speaking English, limited knowledge on health issues and discrimination makes the Hispanics shy from accessing help. Secondly, most of them have no access to insurance thus making access to health care difficult for them. As a result, Hispanics source for help from traditional healers who offer alternative medications. Lastly, health practitioners experience barriers as most of them fail to understand the Hispanic culture and their way of life.

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The number of caregiving institutions incorporating patient-centered care into their work plans is on the rise with many associations using it as a tool for reaching out to all for the access of health services. Understanding barriers to health care access for the Hispanics provide better channels for the provision of such care, and the implementation of such plans gives caregivers practitioners’ better chances of controlling and preventing hypertension on their patients. As an outcome of the implementation of patient-centered care, health professionals will understand the patient’s needs and preferences treat them with dignity and involve them in the decision-making process (Melton et al., 2015, p.20). Practitioners can use the services of translators as a way of communicating with the patients, engage their families in the process as a way of making the patient comfortable while educating the whole family as well on ways of caring for such a patient.

Interdisciplinary teamwork model is relevant in the health sector and has seen the improvement in the growth of quality and better services. The emergence of complex diseases and health conditions have forced staff members into learning new methods of tackling these situations. Unlike in the traditional way of working where most roles were defined, most of the tasks currently intertwine.

Research cases have led to the conclusion that working as a team reduces the number of medical errors and increases patient safety as the practitioners brainstorm as a way of finding solutions faster. From a study where the community health personnel also known as promotoras participated in the promotion of positive impacts on the control of lifestyle-related diseases, participants said that the promotoras gave them emotional and informational support. The support helped them improve their health and wellbeing (Albarran, Heilemann, & Koniak, 2014, p. 2). The majority of the promotoras are Hispanic, and this gives patients at ease as they easily relate to their own. The inclusion of the promotoras to the team was beneficial as they acted as a link between the patients and physicians. Since teamwork builds on communication, close interaction with patients and their families makes them more comfortable as they get real-time feedback on their progress and participatory advise on methods of improving their conditions and living healthy lives.

Lifestyle modification plays a vital role in improving an individual’s life and prevents most of these diseases. From a study known as the healthy women prepared for life, the participants acquired new lifestyles using self-management tools and gained tremendous knowledge through the support of promotoras (Albarran et al., 2014, p. 5). Eating healthy and well-balanced diets helps the patient receive beneficial nutrients and vitamins. Giving up on activities such as smoking frees the body from the burden of dealing with toxins that affect the heart. Similarly, incorporating physical activities made them fit and improved on circulation.

Identifying nursing implications to patient-centered care helps institutions benchmark on the progress and gives a chance for improvement. As seen in the study involving the promotoras, the provision of on ongoing training for the health workers gave them the advanced knowledge that helped them offer better support to their patients (Albarran et al., 2014, p.3). Using interdisciplinary teams provides for adequate staffing who work together and set up proper reporting, analysis and feedback systems reduces the margins of errors.

In conclusion, equipping health professionals with the right training and information coupled with hands-on experience will not only give them better opportunities for caring for the Hispanic Americans but also improve the livelihood of the communities as a whole. Recommendations include the need of having policies set by stakeholders in the health centers that will give the Hispanics from poor backgrounds access to primary health care. Another recommendation is that health institutions can consider hiring a number some of their staff from the Hispanic community as a way if increasing outreach levels.

 

References

Albarran, C. R., Heilemann, M. V., & Koniak-Griffin, D. (2014). Promotoras as facilitators of change: Latinas’ perspectives after participating in a lifestyle behavior intervention program. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 70(10), 2303-2313. doi:10.1111/jan.12383

Heart Disease and Stroke. (n.d.). Retrieved May 02, 2017, from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/heart-disease-and-stroke

Melton, K. D., Foli, K. J., Yehle, K. S., & Griggs, R. R. (2015). Heart failure in hispanic americans: improving cultural awareness. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 11(2), 207-213. doi:10.1016/j.nurpra.2014.08.010