As a health care professional, my role encompasses a relationship with people of all different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. To fulfill our role of empathizing and understanding people we must be open to people different from us, have curiosity about people, and begin the lifelong journey of becoming culturally competent (Jarvis, 2016). In doing a health assessment interview with Ms. Li it is important to consider first primary language and her understanding of the English spoken language and literacy. If Ms. Li is uncomfortable with the interview being conducted in English it is my responsibility to be sure a professional interpreter or interpreting services is used, not only to translate the conversation but also describe the cultural aspects and meanings of health as related to Ms. Li. Another important aspect to remember during the interview is direct eye contact may be equated with disrespect, very important to be aware and follow the cues of Ms. Li. I need seek information about use of and belief of traditional healing for herself and within the family unit. I will need to pay close attention to non-verbal cues. Some Asian Americans may respond “yes” to a question as a way of being polite and avoiding conflict (Quality and Culture,n.d.). The ability to read if yes really means “yes” by following non-verbal communication will help me to meet Ms. Li’s needs.
The Abuse Assessment Screen (AAS) is non-copyrighted, simple, six question survey used globally in many different health care settings, primarily screening women for Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). Each visit or health care encounter should be used as an opportunity to screen all women with a tool such the AAS. Often the questions are prefaced with: violence is very common, it has serious health care consequences and is present in many of our homes so we routinely ask all patients the following questions (Jarvis, 2016). The questions are “yes” or “no”, such as “when you and your partner argue are you ever afraid of him” (Jarvis, 2016). If the woman answers “yes” to any of the questions a more in-depth conversation needs to occur. The assessor should reach for specifics, when, how often, and who was involved. Most importantly, we must show concern, and reiterate that it is not the woman’s fault (Jarvis 2016). “Yes” answers may also lead to a more detailed physical exam. Documentation is key if abuse is divulged whether verbal, emotional or there are signs of physical abuse. Documentation must be specific, including photos when applicable. In California, we are mandated reporters for IPV. Mandated reporting to local law enforcement is done via telephone immediately or written and faxed within 48 hours. Finally, keep the patient informed and safe, when abusers are confronted or questioned this can create a dangerous environment for the patient (Family Law, 2017).