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Assyrian Cultural Considerations
Transcript of Assyrian Cultural Considerations
& Family Relationships. Assyrians respect personal space and avoid physical contact with someone of the opposite sex.
Hand gestures and eye contact are important aspects of communication in Assyrian culture and carry many contexts.
Tips for good communication include: personally introducing new members of the patients health care team, use a low voice, maintain eye contact, use simple language and speak slowly, and obtain feedback to ensure understanding.
Close extended family households are common. The eldest male is seen as the primary decision maker.
For Assyrian Americans, marriage is no longer arranged but consent from family is desired. Divorce is also acceptable, but only initiated by the husband.
Family loyalty is essential and there is a strong respect for elders.
It is seen as an obligation for family to visit the ill and like wise for the ill to accept visitors, regardless of their condition. In these cases, it is important to advocate for the patient and stress the importance of allowing the patient to rest so they can heal and possibly restrict visitation. Ashur Nanno
Robin Jones Nursing Behavior/Strategies for Cultural
Competence & Proper Cultural Care To provide culturally competent nursing, it is essential to communicate with your patient and gain their trust. Avoid long periods of silence, which can be construed as bad news.
If English is not the primary language, use a translator and always be certain to ensure patient understanding regarding their treatment and plan of care, even if they are shaking their head and saying okay. By asking the patient to tell you what they expect, you can be sure that you know that they understand what is going to happen, you build rapport, earn trust and avoid misunderstandings that can arise with cultural language barriers.
Ask the patient about their preferences and what you can do to make them culturally at ease. It is preferred to have same sex caregiver when possible, but not a necessity.
Human touch is healing and touching the shoulder is acceptable to provide empathy and comfort. Avoid touching the head and hands without explaining your purpose.
It is very important to include the patients family in care and decision making.
Since Assyrian's are family oriented, expect them to remain at the bedside. It is helpful to plan ahead by explaining visiting rules and hours, so they feel welcomed and comfortable.
Don't make assumptions that all Assyrian's follow all cultural traditions. Spiritual/Religious/Alternative Beliefs
& Death Rituals/Autopsy Assyrian's were among the first cultures to accept Christianity. The majority are Orthodox Christians, but some forced Islamization is also seen. Assyrian's believe in sin, salvation, eternal life and God as the creator of heaven and earth.
As Assyrian's are exposed to Western culture some adaptations and digressions from Orthodox teachings have evolved, though they strive to retain the most important rituals.
Christianity has great influence on the health of Assyrian's and how they cope and in physical and psychosocial outcomes. Prayer is a spiritual discipline, therefore reading from the Syriac New Testament may be appropriate.
Most Assyrians have a strong belief in life after death. When someone is close to death, a priest is called to administer the bukhra or holy bread and pray for the dying person. The priest gives a benediction. Relatives and close neighbors are bedside for final moments.
Mourning over death is very passionately expressed. The death of a family member is generally expressed as a prolonged period of grieving. When possible, on the day of death the body is taken to the church and is washed in accordance to the ceremony prescribed in the book of the dead. Traditionally four men carry the body to the burial site, where the body is placed so that the dead will face east. Often three days after the burial family and friends will return to the burial site symbolic of Christ’s resurrection.
In most situations Autopsy is acceptable without any issue, however, all body parts removed during the autopsy must be buried with the body because it is believed that the entire body must be returned to the earth; organ donation may not be considered by family members under any circumstance, and cremation is generally a foreign aspect to Assyrian culture. What does it mean to be Assyrian? History of Ancient Assyria: The history of Assyrian Empire has a great influence to Assyrian's unity and their cultural Identity.
Since Assyrians are a people essentially without a country, family is very important to maintain unity and cultural identity.
Assyrian Church of the East: since acceptance of Christianity, the church leaders were leading Assyrian people.
Traditional Religious Gathering and Parties: almost every weekend many Assyrian families, elders, adult, and children, gather in churches and attend Assyrian parties.
The Impact of the Wars: since 1914 and Assyrian Massacre, immigration to different countries, especially The United States, increased dramatically. by: Memorial Medical Center Clinical Group Assyrian Cultural Considerations
• Complications related to Smoking (respiratory)
• Diabetes, Type 2
• Cardiovascular disease
• GI disorders and GI cancer
The Assyrian culture is very hesitant to seek health care on a preventative basis.. The common complaint is “that it is to inconvenient”. When they do finally go to the Dr. it’s more serious than it would have been with early check- ups.
Many Assyrians have GI problems resulting from introduction of American cuisine and processed foods.
Many Assyrian men have smoked for many years, leading cardiovascular issues and respiratory complaints.
Education regarding regular screening for early detection of illnesses such as cancer needs to be the main target in the Assyrian community, preferably in their own language for a better understanding. Health Disparities, Health Issues,
& Symptom Management Cultural Factors