Cultureis one of the most defining concepts about human beings. People fromall occupations can be linked to or separated by a culture. Itdefines the beliefs, behaviors, looks and nature of individuals whowere raised in the same vicinity or locality. Currently in the UnitedStates, immigration that has occurred over centuries has led to adiverse collection of dissimilar cultures in one area. All of thiscultures are rich when it comes to their heritages and traditionalpractices (Purnell, 2000). This creates a situation where health careofficials get to interact with people from diverse cultures who areproud of their origins. This makes it vital for these healthcareofficials to be considerate and respectful towards any person of adifferent culture that they have to assist. This study aims tounderstand a specific culture based on all the twelve domains ofPurnell. At the end of the study, the ready should be able to notonly understand, but also empathize with the culture that was underscrutiny. The information obtained was done through an interview of aspecific member of the culture being studied. The Polish culture willbe defined in this study using all the models so that it will befully explained. The individual that was interviewed was known asW.K.
Accordingto W.K, the modern Poles originated from the ancient Slavic tribesthat inhabited most parts of Western Europe. These people developed awell-defined political dynasty that ruled for many centuries.However, wars that were caused by the need for power led this dynastyto break apart until around the 18thCentury, Poland had been wiped out of the map of Europe. Poland waslater independent almost one hundred and fifty years later. AfterWorld War I, Poland was taken over by the German Nazi who mainly usedthis country as a slaughter ground for the Jews. This led to a hugeloss of lives by the Polish people especially those who were opposedto the Nazi way. As if this was not enough, Poland fell under theSoviet rule. The country was then further subjected to control from aforeign nation. All these acts of injustices led to a wave ofimmigrations into the United States. They were escaping famine andwar from their motherland in search of a better life. Most of thesePoles barely had education past High School. Once they got to theU.S, they mainly found casual jobs such as janitors, petrol stationattendants and shopkeepers. Most of them became wage earners(Krzyżanowski & Ronowicz, 1978).
Thelanguage that is spoken by this culture is the Polish language. Thisculture has no major requirements when it comes to personal space,body language and touch. They are a group that believes in humaninteraction. Most of their activities are centered on buildingcohesion and reliability among the people. They consider themselvesas landowners thus this was a huge factor for building personalrelationships since most of the farm activities were done communally.Their names were mainly based on the Slavic format. This made theirnames tend towards Russian format.
Beforethe Poles migrated to the U.S, they firmly believed that the head ofthe household was the man. Therefore, male children were raisedaccording to this structure. The women were mainly raised to be thehousekeepers and thus all the female children were raised to knowevery activity that they could undertake in the household. Theextended family was there to offer guidance to the children and evendue punishment when they saw fit. The aged members of the communitywere there to entertain and to offer advice to the young ones. Theywere also used as babysitters whenever the more fit individuals wentto the fields to work. The same principle applied after migration asmost of the Polish youngsters were raised by their grandparents.Since this culture had become Catholics several centuries before,having children out of wedlock, divorce or homosexuality was nottolerated at all (Skrzypek et al., 2014).
ThePolish people were fully assimilated into the U.S culture. The roleof the women changed from being housekeepers to being breadwinners.This was a huge transformation when it came to their traditionalbelief system. The healthcare practices that they practiced at theirhomeland was similar to the modern practices.
Themembers of this culture are Caucasians with small body build.Majority of them have a slim body. This is mainly due to thehardships they have had to endure. Their bodies metabolize drugsquite efficiently and they have few cases of allergies in theirsociety.
Whenit comes to high risk behaviors, these culture is prone to drug andalcohol abuse. This is because they are part of the minority groupsin the U.S and thus they are prone to such habits. To most of them,safety equipment such as helmets and seatbelts are deemed unnecessarysince they lack the proper awareness towards their importance. Theselect few who do not have to adapt to a busy schedule usually end upliving sedentary lives with unhealthy eating habits that usuallyleads to obesity and heart diseases. Their sexual behaviors is alsousually high risk as well since some of them disregard contraceptiveslike condoms.
ThePolish cuisine has had a significant change over the years. Anexample is the increase of meat into their diets. Most of this changehas been attributed with the assimilation of this culture with theAmerican culture. Much of these meat-based foods are usually eatenduring the religious holidays such as Easter and Christmas.
Pregnancyand Child Bearing
Motherhoodis considered as one of the most sacred human acts. They adore thispractice and any activity that may harm the life of the unborn childsuch as drug use or violence towards the mother is a taboo. To themfertility comes from God and therefore couples usually pray beforecopulation so as to achieve conception.
Bybeing Roman Catholics, the Polish people view death as a rite ofpassage. They firmly believe in the afterlife where they would spendeternity with their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. They do notcondone euthanasia as they see this as an act of murder since theyfirmly believe in the sanctity of life. Preparations for deathusually involves atonement for ones’ sins so that they may enterthe kingdom of heaven. The burial process involves a church serviceand the bereaved are usually comforted by the belief that they willbe together with their departed in the afterlife.
Theirspirituality is focused on the one true God to whom they owe all thepraise and glory. This culture usually practice the catholic religionby going to masses and participating in all of the practices ordainedby the Catholic Church. They believe in the power of prayer. Whenovercome with the tribulations of the world, they turn to God who istheir refuge and strength. Confession is also a vital part of theirspirituality whereby an individual goes to the priest and atones fortheir misdeeds (Lednicki, 1944).
Whenit comes to healthcare practices, they follow the modern path. Theydo not rely on any forms of traditional forms of healthcare. To themthe preventive treatment is the right approach. Any form of maladysuch as mental illness, need for organ transplant or bloodtransfusion is a part of the healthcare system and they do not shunor discriminate anyone who is of need of this care.
Thehealthcare practitioners are usually well educated and versed to themodern ways of healthcare. In this modern times the gender does notmatter as long as the practitioner is fully qualified (Purnell, etal. 2000). The healthcare practitioners are usually viewed in highregard as they are there to save lives and ease suffering.
ThePolish culture has a rich and diverse history. Their immigration intothe United States may have changed some of their principles but theirvalues have been practiced to date. This shows that all healthpractitioners should learn to embrace every culture they encounter.They should never subject anyone to discrimination according to theculture that they hail from. Everyone is equal.
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Lednicki,W. (1944). Lifeand culture of Poland as reflected in Polish literature.Roy publishers.
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Purnell,L. D., & Paulanka, B. J. (2008). The Purnell model for culturalcompetence. Transculturalhealth care: A culturally competent approach, 3,19-56.
Skrzypek,A., Kopečková, R., Bidzińska, B., & Singleton, D. (2014).Language and Culture: Attitudes Towards, and Perceptions of, EnglishL2 Acquisition among Adult Polish Migrants in Ireland. InterculturalContact, Language Learning and Migration,112.