It has been acknowledged that family is the major source of health-related beliefs. Clearly, parents’ beliefs regarding symptoms and possible treatment are transferred to children (Friedman, Bowden, & Jones, 2003). It is necessary to note that children are often influenced by other factors during their adulthood such as their education, intimate partners, and experiences. I had a valuable experience involving the effects families have on people’s appraisal of symptoms.
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A patient was to undergo surgery due to her varicose veins. The woman in her late fifties was African American of Nigerian descent, so I understood her rather well as we share a similar set of beliefs. The patient had endured pain for quite a long time, which is typical of this cultural group. Although the woman has had blood clots since her early forties, her daughter started noticing that the clots were becoming bigger in one area. The place also grew red in color, and the leg became swollen. Before that, the patient had used some herbal ointment. The daughter started asking the woman to see a doctor when the area became changing its color. When the swelling became apparent, the daughter addressed a doctor.
This situation is rather typical of Nigerian people as they do not talk about their pain until it becomes intense. Even when I was a teenager, I tried not to show that I am in pain, but my mother still managed to notice that something was wrong. Although I do not support all of my mothers’ views on health, I still use herbs for prevention. Therefore, I have to admit that families have a paramount influence on people’s health-related views.
Friedman, M. M., Bowden, V. R., & Jones, E. G. (2003). Family nursing: Research, theory, and practice (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.