Excerpts from presentation by Julie Walsh Kroeker and Willa Aaron at noon on Thursday Jan. 15, 2004 to staff at Kaiser Moanalua: “A Micro-orientation to Micronesian Attitudes and Beliefs about Health Care.” Please acknowledge source when citing.
Beliefs and Practices
- Delayed and/or abbreviated treatment
- Different definitions of disease (lice, boils, scabies)
- Cultural taboos about sex impact ability to discuss particular illnesses
- Some illnesses are supernaturally imposed
- Pregnancy has many behavioral taboos, and rituals, including herbal beverages and baths
- Determine ethnicity –Chuukese, Pohnpeian, Marshallese, etc.
- Recognize that your own authority impacts your interactions
- Ask questions and listen patiently --very, very, very patiently.
- Offer alternatives, encourage choices.
- Ask about household composition, transportation, accessibility to resources, translation possibilities.
- Express your care and concern.
- Be aware that YES has more than one meaning due to the necessity of cooperating with authority and the discomfort of refusing others’ requests.
- Yes may mean yes, no, or maybe.
- Ask follow up questions. WAIT PATIENTLY.
- “Can you come at 4?” can be followed with: How will you get here? Would 4:30 be better for you? Can you take the bus if your ride is late? Would you give me a call if you won’t be able to come so I can schedule other patients?
- Make it clear that No is an acceptable response. “It’s okay if that time doesn’t work for you. Tell when is better.”
- Assure them they are welcome to bring a friend.