Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Cultural Practices of Specific Groups

May 3, 2021

Hispanics make up a large percentage of the population in the United States and account for as much as 50% of the population in some counties (Figure 6-3). Subcultures also exist within the Hispanic culture, and Hispanics’ origins vary as well. According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau report, the largest Mexican populations are found in areas of California, Texas, Illinois, and Arizona. Puerto Ricans are concentrated in New York, Florida, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. About two thirds of all Cubans in the United States live in Florida (U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2010). Although these groups share some common beliefs, they each have distinct practices. The place of origin is important to determine when caring for a Hispanic patient.

Numerous tribes of Native Americans live throughout various regions of the United States (U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2010). Nursing care of this population is complicated by the fact that each nation or tribe of American Indians has its own language, religion, and belief system. Practices differ significantly among groups and among members of the same tribe. When the term “American Indian” is used, it is intended to refer to tribes residing within the continental United States.

A complete picture of all cultural practices and beliefs for groups living in the United States is impossible in the context of this chapter. Table 6-4 gives examples of common cultural practices of prevalent minority groups in our culture. Always keep in mind the strong influence culture has on patients, colleagues, and the nurse. An awareness of the community in which the nurse practices is especially important. If the LPN/LVN resides in an area that is heavily populated by a culture that is unlike his or her own, it is the nurse’s responsibility to learn as much as possible about the people and the culture.