Description: what happened?
A lady had an x-ray of her pelvis. I called the patient to x-ray room. Her husband wanted to come in with his child, but I asked him to stay in the waiting area of x-ray. He stated that his wife didn`t understand English and he had to be with her. I asked which language does she speak, he said, Kurdish. I could speak her language properly. I told her husband that she wouldn`t have any problem, because I know her language. But He didn`t accept this and he insisted on coming in with his wife. I explained the effect of x-ray on both of them (husband and 2-3 year old kids) but he didn`t accept this again. I called one of the radiographers to talk to him, but still he wanted to come in with his wife. They were Muslim and he said that he didn`t like his wife`s x-ray to be done without him. We had no choice, but to let him to come into the x-ray room. When we asked her details and we checked LMP, she had missed period. Again the radiographers explained to them that they can`t take the x-ray, because there is a possibility for her being pregnant. And she needs to book another appointment to make sure that she is not pregnant. The husband didn`t want to go back. He wanted his wife`s x-ray to be done. Radiographers could not satisfy him. They asked them to wait in the waiting area, and called the nurse to have a pregnancy test. When she did the test and the result was negative she had her x-ray, and let them to go.
Feelings: what were you thinking and feeling?
I was thinking why the husband does not let his wife have her x-ray, because I was Muslim too. I was irritated by his persistence; he was so strict and failed to listen to reason.
Evaluation: what was good and bad about the experience?
It was a good experience because I learnt from this experience that I must be patient with some patients, and respect their religion.
The bad thing was a few times I wanted to be angry, but as a professional radiographer, I didn`t allow myself to say anything.
Analysis: what sense can you make of the situation?
I learnt from another radiographer how to deal with patients from different religions and different cultures.
Conclusion: what else could you have done?
I could have talked to the patient and explained that I am Muslim too, that I will respect your religion, and that there is nothing to worry, and try to get his confidence.
Action plan: if it arose again, what would you do?
In the future if it happens again I will respect any idea from any culture and countries.
Taken from: Pearce R (2003) Profiles and Portfolios of Evidence, Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.
This essay deals with the patient with a different culture and different religion. One question that needs to be asked, however, is what is meant by culture and why it is important to respect people from different cultures? And then I will describe Muslim beliefs and their religion. And then find a solution to know how should deal with them. Finally In conclusion this essay will summarise the best way to deal with patient.
A basic definition of culture is that it encompasses beliefs and behaviours that are learned and shared with members of a group. (Galanti, 1991)
The search for national, ethnic and cultural identities has become an important quest for both majority and minority communities in the twenty-first century. There are now nearly four million people in the UK belonging to the minority ethnic groups. (Scambler, 2003)
going back to find the reason why the patient`s husband was not happy to do his wife`s x-ray alone. They were Muslim and their culture would not allow them to have treatment from a male practitioner. Female patient with Islamic religion prefer the female nurse to treat them. This is their beliefs. Not all religions or philosophies are based on the same criteria. For instance, some religions require a strict compliance with certain laws and rules.
Generally, both male and female Muslim patients and their children prefer to be seen by male doctors. For pregnancy or gynaecological needs, women prefer a female doctor, however. In Arab culture, women are reluctant to discuss these concerns with men. It is common for the family member to stay with the patient and to help answer questions about the patient's health. In Arab countries, patients are told only the good news about their disease. In severe cases, the doctors generally report the seriousness of the illness and its likely consequences to a selected family member. (Culturediversity, 1997)
It is important to find a solution to deal with these types of patients. For a radiographer to have a good communication with patient, it is necessary to have some understanding of cultural differences. The goal of medical system is to provide optimal care for all patients.
Radiographers need to have extensive knowledge of, and respect for, differences in cultures when dealing with patients,” says Drayton-Hargrove, who is director of the Family Nurse Practitioner program and an assistant professor at Widener University in Chester, Pa. “They must have awareness of subcultures—such as knowing that Latinos don't all speak the same language and that African Americans do not all like the same kind of foods. They also need to know what to do when cultural differences become obstacles in caring for patients.”(Minoritynurse, 2009)
In this case I should have talked to patient and husband according their religion and try to prepare female radiographer for her, or let him to come to x-ray room, but they could stand behind the screen to protect them against radiation.
In this country there are 4, 000, 000 of ethnic minorities, it is important not to stereotype individuals. Different country has different culture. We have to respect their values and beliefs, and treat everybody equally, and Talk to patient and explain the procedure satisfactorily. To be able to perform an accurate assessment and provide competent and sensitive care, the health care practitioner must consider the patient's religious and spiritual beliefs, as well as cultural mores.
Galanti G-A (1991) Caring for Patients from Different cultures, Philadelphia, university of Pennsylvania
Scamblert G (2003) Sociology as Applied to Medicine, London, University College London
Victor M. Fernandez, and Kathy M. Fernandez, (1997), Middle Eastern
Debra Williams,( 2009), Learning About Difference