Paper Example on the Amish Culture: Impact of Cultural Values on Medical Care

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1638 Words
Date:  2023-01-16

Cultural values, beliefs, biases, stereotypes, etc. that might influence my view of the culture of the Amish people.

In the contemporary setting, medical care is solely dependent on the professional practice of the health care providers and little to do with the personal beliefs of the patient. However, among the Amish people, a doctor is only useful as much as they appreciate the cultural underpinnings of the patient. The contemporary medical environment considers care to improve as one rises the therapeutic ladder with medical attention at the highest level of a healthcare structure being considered to be more superior (Weller, 2017). However, among the Amish people, the local doctor is given more respect due to their better understanding of the people's cultural values. Quality health in the contemporary world is based on the strength of an individual's immune system and their ability to overcome pathogenic attacks. On the other hand, the Amish people consider good health based on an individual's capacity to perform difficult tasks. As such, the Amish people are less likely to seek medical attention unless they are in deep pain or are subdued by injuries.

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The contemporary view of family setup is likely to cause a bias on the cultural inclination of the Amish people. In modern families, roles are equally shared with both males and females being breadwinners in the family. This setup is, however, not the case among the Amish people. In their case, first, there is a belief in large families. Contemporary families are maintained small to improve on the capacity to provide for proper healthcare. Among the Amish people, both women and men have defined roles with men being the breadwinners and women being housekeepers (Edge, 2016). Women who are responsible for taking care of young children do not handle other responsibilities outside the home environment. It is the role of the male head of the family to nurture the religious perspective of the family while the women ensure the spiritual growth of the family.

Overview of Amish Culture

The Amish culture is unique. As regards their interactions, they ignore technology. Information is passed on from one individual to another due to their collectivist culture, which breeds a closely-knit community. The Amish people depend on non-verbal communication to engage among themselves and only correspond with other communities when need be. The Amish people respect their elders. As such, the elders are responsible for providing cultural direction and determining the overall health of their people. There is equality among the Amish people, which reflects in their interactions and how they address each other during conversations (Edge, 2016). The Amish people give more attention to the present and are less likely to look for solutions for the future. As such, medical care is only sought for as long as the pain is felt and stops when the pain stops.

The Amish people have much respect for the nutritional value of food. The nutritional value of food is considered on the bases of its source. In general, these people prefer to farm their food. Their food consumption patterns provide a glimpse of their health characteristics. Amish men consume more of energy-giving foods that are meant to keep their bodies active. Excess food is either cured or smoked before it is stored, with modern refrigeration procedures being less preferred among the people. With regards to their consumption patterns, the Amish people depend on dairy products, and each family has at least one dairy farm from which it draws its food. The Amish people consume little alcohol and grow and consume their fruits (Weller, 2017).

The Amish people are generally stoics. Modern approaches to pain responses, including the use of narcotics, is frowned upon. As an alternative, the Amish people prefer pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches to address pain. They are less likely to succumb to mild pains and discomfort, preferring to seek medical attention when pain is severe. As regards childbirth and perinatal care, the Amish people have a defined approach. Whereas the Amish people are likely to seek prenatal services to determine pregnancy, they prefer traditional methods in achieving prenatal care (Weller, 2017). There are traditional midwives to help in childbirth. Birth control is frowned upon as children are gifts from God.

As regards death and dying, the Amish people consider death to be inevitable and an invitation by God. Consequently, whenever a death occurs, the funeral rituals concentrate on upholding the goodness of God than on the qualities of the deceased. The Amish people bury their people three days after their death, and, depending on the state, embalm their bodies. Preparations for burial are done at the community level. Every individual that is involved is required to adorn a unique dress code with black being the preferred color (Weller, 2017). On spirituality, religion, and faith, the Amish are majorly Christians. They believe in pacifism, they practice adult baptism and consider the church as a community.

The Amish people consider their way of life to be per the biblical requirement for a lifestyle that is not influenced by worldly distractions. Salvation is derived one's fulfillment of life's purpose through the creation of a loving community which concentrates more on the feelings of each other. Redemption is considered based on its overall impact on the community and not the individual alone. As an obligation, the Amish people care for their farms, which they consider to be God's directive for care towards plants and animals. To ensure that every member of the community is accorded the right environment to grow spiritually, the Ordnung is observed (Weller, 2017). Prayers are health within the house level. Voluntary services form part of the religious responsibility of the community.

How Cultural Care Theory can help develop a comprehensive cultural assessment of the Amish culture

The Cultural Care Theory provides a framework for understanding different cultures. It employs cognitive-based facilitative, assistive, enabling, and supportive decisions or acts which are designed for the particular way of life, beliefs, and cultural values of a group of people. It is a practical tool for enabling congruent care as it allows for the nurse and the patient to collectively design unique care lifestyles for the wellbeing and overall health of the patient (Weideman et al., 2016). It allows the nurse to apply both professional and generic skills, which are modeled for the best interest of the patient.

There are various areas that the theory focuses on to provide proper patient care. Foremost, the theory regards care as a necessity towards the improvement of the condition and their preparation for death. This aspect is essential in understanding how the Amish people perceive death and how they prepare for it. The theory provides a comprehensive overview of the patient background through its cultural assessment. It helps to assess the language and communication patterns of the community, and hence the proper understanding of meaning as regards healthcare provision and knowledge. The theory provides a basis for understanding gender considerations and sexual orientations characteristics within a community.

Emic beliefs and values of the Amish people, my etic beliefs and values, and how they impact cultural assessment

From within, the Amish consider themselves to be authentic, and true preservers of the way of life in its true form. Consequently, anyone outside their cultural scope is considered as an impure element that allows themselves to be distracted by technology and otherworldly factors that defile human values. As such, people that do not belong to the community are more likely to consume unhealthy foods, to engage in harmful consumption of foods and drinks such as alcohol, and to seek medication even when the body does not need it. However, from outside, the Amish people stand out as conservatives that are hard to understand. As such, it becomes difficult to integrate them into the health programs which require proper and progressive monitoring. These two perspectives impact cultural assessment because there is a clash in the understanding of the meanings, beliefs, and viewpoints unless there is adequate preparedness by way of accepting the reality of the uniqueness of the community.

Considerations needed with regards to language barriers, nonverbal communication, and translation needs

It is noteworthy that nonverbal communication and symbols form a significant part of the interaction among the Amish people. It is, therefore, important that strategies are put in place to get an informed understanding of such cues. It is crucial to consider the meaning of symbols and how critical nonverbal communication is in patient care (McFarland & Wehbe-Alamah, 2017). As noted before, patient care must incorporate the religious and cultural values of a patient and so understanding what the religious symbols imply is essential.

How training for nurses and administrators about cultural assessment can improve patient care in healthcare settings

Understanding the way of life is essential for integrating patients int the healthcare process. Nursing practice is useful when it is evidence-based and inclusive. The aim is to ensure that the patient appreciates the procedures required for their wellbeing and care and that they are active participants in the care process (Harkess & Kaddoura, 2016). Consequently, nurses and administrators need t to understand how best to involve the patient in the care program to ensure positive outcomes.


Edge, R., (2016). Health Care Beliefs and Practices of Amish: In Southwest Wisconsin (Doctoral dissertation, Clarke University).

Harkess, L., & Kaddoura, M. (2016, July). Culture and cultural competence in nursing education and practice: The state of the art. In Nursing forum (Vol. 51, No. 3, pp. 211-222).

McFarland, M. R., & Wehbe-Alamah, H. B. (2017). Theory of Culture Care Diversity and Universality. Nursing Theorists and Their Work-E-Book, 339.

Weideman, Y. L., Young, L., Lockhart, J. S., Grund, F. J., Fridline, M. M., & Panas, M. (2016). Strengthening cultural competence in prenatal care with a virtual community: Building capacity through collaboration. Journal of Professional Nursing, 32(5), S48-S53.

Weller, G. E., (2017). Caring for the Amish: what every anesthesiologist should know. Anesthesia & Analgesia, 124(5), 1520-1528.

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