Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Spanish

First Advisor

Dr. Mark McGraw

Second Advisor

Dr. Johnny Wink

Third Advisor

Dr. Randall Wight

Abstract

America was born as a melting pot of peoples. From the very beginning this culture has been mixed with others. Diversity is a huge part of the American experience, and over the past 30 years, the Hispanic and Latino population has been increasing. With this population increase, the experience in the medical field that latino and Hispanic patients receive needs to be improved due to the cultural differences concerning individualism, values, and medical care: especially when concerning Latino patients. As a whole, the Hispanic community in the United States have a lower mortality rate then that of non-Hispanics living in the U.S. While they are at a greater risk for chronic illness and also have a lower overall (but rising)socioeconomic status, their family structure is extremely strong and their illicit drug use is much less than non-Hispanic U.S. citizens (CDC). The CDC reports that with each generation living in the U.S. their mortality rates are beginning to rise. Overall, Hispanics have a lower mortality rate that could be due to specific values that are extremely important to their culture. Family, trust, religion, a respect of the future. I believe that it is possible to reduce the gap in health care quality by gaining an understanding of their culture and values--the things that make them who they are. By understanding their cultural background and language, I propose that it will be possible to provide health care of the same quality that non-Hispanic Americans receive.

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