Cultural Assessment Of Canadian American (Autosaved)
Running head: CULTURAL ASSESSMENT OF CANADIAN AMERICAN 1 Cultural Assessment of Canadian American Desiree Ferwalt NUR 3393 Transcultural Nursing 11 December 2011
CULTURAL ASSESSMENT OF CANADIAN AMERICAN 2 Cultural Assessment of Canadian American The person I did my cultural assessment on is Sharon Collins. She and her husband arefriends from the church I attend. Sharon is originally from the Province Ontario, Canada, butwhen she married her husband in the mid-nineties Sharon moved to Missouri with husbandGeorge. She became an American citizen when she got married and has lived in the States eversince. Sharon Collins is a culturally unique individual. Though she does have many similarthings to her culture stereotype in many ways her personal values and views differs greatly fromher Canadian culture. Sharon was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Ottawa is on the border ofOntario and Quebec. Ottawa is the Canadian capital and the fifth largest city in Canada (Crooks,McDonagh, Lees, & Thomlinson, 2004, p.255). In his article Wiseman states that Canada is asethically and culturally diverse as its neighbor the United States (2007, p.7). Sharon states thather cultural definition of herself and her Canadian culture is “we are a very friendly people whoare very easy going”. Sharon states that her race is Caucasian and that most of Canadians areCaucasian. Wiseman states in his article Five Immigrant Waves that Canadians get their rootsmainly from the French and British colony. Other major ethnic origins are Scottish, Irish,Chinese and German (2007, p.9). She lived in Ottawa until her early-twenties. Sharon goes backto Canada once a year to visit her friends and family. Sharon Collins communicates in clear accented voice. She says that her accent isn’tnearly as strong as it used to be though it becomes more pronounce when she gets excited. Attimes she has to really work on her enunciation to be understood. English is her native language,though she does speaks a little French. Wiseman states English is official language spoken in
CULTURAL ASSESSMENT OF CANADIAN AMERICAN 3Canada, but many speak French too. The people who speak English in Canada are anglophoneand the French speakers are francophone (Wiseman, 2007, p.10). As a nurse this might meanthat if you get a non-English speaking patient you will need to have a translator available. Hervoice quality is strong and resonates. Sharon does not use silence very well. She is someone whotalks a mile a minute and doesn’t let you get a word in. Her silences are very brief. She says sheis uncomfortable with silences in the conversation. Sharon loves to talk. She states it is one ofher hobbies and will communicate with her friends, family, and acquaintances. Giger andDavidhizer (2008) states that Canadians “…are warmhearted people who express their thoughtsand opinions openly, are expressive, and use their hands for emphases when speaking” (p.647).When asked a question Sharon responds not only with her words but with her hands, facialexpression, and stance. Sharon uses her hands very expressly when she talks. The more excitedshe gets the more wild her hand motions become. She will make direct eye contact while talkingto someone and she expects the person she is talking to make eye contact with her. Sharon statesthat she gets her point across by making eye contact and speaking clearly. She said that she willusually ask if the person understands what she is saying to make her point clear. When talking toSharon her emotions are usually quite clear through her expressions and stance. If Sharon hassomething to say she comes right out and says it. She is a very blunt woman. She usually takes arelax stance when talking to someone she knows. She is very accepting of touch and will touchothers readily. Sharon is someone who likes to hug and pat people on the shoulder. Canadiansare very expressive with their emotions (Giger et. al., 2008, p. 247). Sharon Collins has a very different view on Space than her Canadian brethren. Sharon’sdegree of comfort is between 18 inches to two feet. The normal space between two Canadians is
CULTURAL ASSESSMENT OF CANADIAN AMERICAN 4between eighteen to thirty inches (Giger et. al., 2008, p.648). As a nurse we should keep a certaindistance between ourselves and the patients. She will lean forward when she talks to a person.The better she knows the person the more comfortable she feels about standing closer. She standsvery close to her husband and children usually less than eighteen inches. When communicatingwith acquaintances she will stand less than three feet away from them. She will move back if shefeels someone is to close. Sharon doesn’t mind shaking a strangers hand or giving someone ahug if she feels they need it. Sharon varies from her Canadian culture since they show littlephysical contact while in public (Giger et. al., 2008, p. 648). Sharon states that she does notknow a stranger. The furniture does not really seem to affect how close she will get to someone.She will move around any furniture to stand closer to a person. Sharon’s health is good and her “issues” as she puts it are well controlled. MostCanadians define health as “…an ideal state in which illness is absent” (Giger et. al., 2008, p.652). She has chronic illnesses and they are hypothyroidism, hypertension, and diabetes mellituswhich are all controlled by medications. Sharon does not take care of herself as she shouldthrough diet and exercise. These are all common diseases among Canadians. In the article HealthBeliefs of rural Canadians (2004) Crooks and the other authors discuss that Canadians believemore in prevention of a disease instead of treating it, such as controlling body weight, exercise,and practicing safe sex (p. 258).If Sharon cut back on her salt and fat intake and exercised moreshe would be in better shape. Sharon has been married for over seventeen years and has had threeboys. In Canada the average number of children per woman is 1.45 (Giger et. al., 2008, p. 649).She is a stay at home mom. She keeps her house extremely clean and cares for the youngest whohasn’t started school yet. She believes that is what God meant for her do in life and does not
CULTURAL ASSESSMENT OF CANADIAN AMERICAN 5want to work outside the home. If you watch their family interact with each other it is obviousthat Sharon is the head of that house hold. Sharon’s mom is still alive and living in Canada. Herfather died a few years ago of heart disease. Sharon is an only child. She goes and visits hermother at least once a year and usually calls her once a week. As a child Sharon feels like hermother was the biggest influence in her life since she spent so much time with her. Sharondefined her social activities as things that get her out of the house. Some of the activities sheenjoys to do are going to Pilates, attending her son’s baseball games, and being on the churchboard. Her free time is usually spent on Facebook. Sharon does believe in God. She belongs tothe United Methodist Presbyterian Church and attends church almost every Sunday. The mainreligion in Canada is Catholism (Giger et. al., 2008, p.650). Sharon political party is Democrat.She believes that the government should take care of healthcare like the Canadian governmentdoes. Sharon Collins is past oriented. She is always reminiscing about when she used to live inCanada and growing up among her family. She is also present oriented because she lives andplans only for the present and is bad about planning for the future. She has never arrived on timesince I have known her. Se can be a couple minutes late to a couple of hours. She never getsanything done on time. Most Canadians are past and present oriented (Giger et. al., 2008, p.651).Her view of time is social time. Sharon uses her cell phone to tell time. She will set the clocks inher house and car forwards a couple of minutes just so she tries to arrive on time. She states thatshe gets about seven hours asleep a night. Nurses need to reinforce the need to be on time forhospital visits. Crooks et. al. states in her article that as nurses one of the most importantcommunication skills we must develop is a trusting relationship with our patients so that they
CULTURAL ASSESSMENT OF CANADIAN AMERICAN 6will more likely listen to the information we give them and be more compliant with instructionsgiven them (2004, p.263). Sharon Collins locus of control is internal and believes that the power to affect changelies within. Sharon believes in God and uses prayer when things are not going the way she wants.Sharon remembers her mother making home remedies when she had colds, such as chickennoodle soup and honey and lemon water. She sometimes uses the same remedies on her ownsons. She says she will probably use them in the future. She says that Sharon enjoys havingvisitors at her house though she prefers that people call first. Sharon Collins is of median height with a large frame. She is Caucasian with fair skin,her hair is a light brown cut at her shoulders, and she has hazel eyes. She has thousands offreckles covering her face and arms. Sharon’s states that heart disease and diabetes runs in herfamily. She doesn’t think there are any genetic diseases that her family is susceptible. Familymembers will call the person who is sick to wish them well and stop by to see how the sickperson is doing. Sharon will raise her voice when she becomes angry and will then ignore aperson when they have irritated her. Sharon is really reliant on her husband in her time of needs,and she will pray for guidance. Sharon’s favorite foods are pasta and steaks. A traditional foodthat Sharon learned from her mother is homemade bread this is a food item that her familydevours. She states that her family likes grilled food. Canadians foods are usually high in fats,salts and starches (Giger et. al., 2008, p.653). Sharon said that when she was pregnant she had anunusual craving for flour. Sharon states that she ate a lot of canned soup when she was young. Sharon Collins has assimilated well to the American culture. She and her family celebrateUS holidays such as Forth of July and Thanksgiving. Sharon states that Americans think that
CULTURAL ASSESSMENT OF CANADIAN AMERICAN 7their culture is the superior culture; she states that Canadians are more likely to be open to othercultures. Sharon says a main difference from the US and Canada is that healthcare and insurancedoesn’t cost as much in Canada. She says that instead of Spanish being Canada’s secondlanguage like the US it is French. Sharon tries to be open to new ideas. Sharon has no concept ofother people’s personal space and has a habit of invading a person’s space. I have had her followme across a room as I would take a step back to a comfortable talking space she would stepforward with me. She states that she doesn’t understand how a person can not believe in God,though she doesn’t think those people are bad just misguided. Sharon states that any spiritualguidance she needs she will ask a member of the congregation or the pastor. Sharon could notthink of any spiritual practices impede any western health practices. Sharon says she shouldprobably cut back on her salt intake. Crooks et. al. states in her article that there are manyunhealthy habits that the Canadian culture takes pleasure in, some include smoking, excess foodand drink, and not exercising (2004, p. 261). My own cultural beliefs influences affect how I care for my patients. I have always usedsilence in conversation which is sometimes difficult to carry on a conversation if the other personisn’t a very talkative. I have always had a large personal space which can sometimes be difficultwhen a patient needs you to be there to comfort them. I come from a large family and have a lotsupport when I need it. As a nurse I need to realize that others are not so reliant on family. I havealways been future oriented. I usually to make lists and daily and monthly plans. It is hard for meto see why a person can not keep appointments or at least call ahead when they are going to belate. I believe I have more internal instead of external locus of control. I have always believedthat I was in control of what happens to me and nobody else.
CULTURAL ASSESSMENT OF CANADIAN AMERICAN 8 Knowledge gained from this course will influence future nursing care for me when takingcare of individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The class has taught me to broadenmy understanding of other cultures and be more tolerant of other people and differing needs frommine.
CULTURAL ASSESSMENT OF CANADIAN AMERICAN 9 ReferencesCrooks, K. B., McDonagh, M. K., Lees, M., & Thomlinson, K. (2004). Health beliefs of rural Canadians: implications for practice. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 12(6), 258-263.Giger, J.N. & Davidhizar, R.E. (2008). Transcultural Nursing: Assessment & Intervention, (5th Ed). Mosby: St Louis. 646-659.Wiseman, N., (2007). Five Immigrant Waves: Their Ideological Orientations and Partisan Reverberations. Canadian Ethnic Studies, 39( ½), p5-30.