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Cultural Care: American Indians and Alaska Natives

Author: Dana Bartlett, RN, BSN, MSN, MA, CSPI

CE: 2 hours
Rated 4.7 out of 5.0 based on 530 reviews

Course Summary

Health disparity is a persistent problem within the American Indian and Alaska Native populations. Health disparity is evidenced by a greater prevalence of acute and chronic diseases and psychiatric and social disorders within these groups. The Federal government has a well-established obligation to provide services to indigenous populations, including the delivery of healthcare, and to ensure access to healthcare and a quality of health services; however, it has failed to budget adequately for these purposes. In order to eradicate the existing health disparities found in these groups, and move toward health equity, health clinicians need to understand the unique cultural traditions and beliefs of American Indian and Alaska Native communities and consider them when interfacing with them. This involves incorporating cultural competence into a clinician’s education so the clinician can be aware of historical, political, and socioeconomic factors that affect the health of certain patient populations, such as the American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

Course Format


Course Syllabus

I.       Introduction

II.       Health Equity and Health Disparity

III.       Prevalence of Diseases and Psychiatric Disorders Among American Indians and Alaska Natives

1. Cancer
2. Cardiac Disease
3. COVID-19
4. Diabetes
5. Disabilities
6. Drug and Alcohol Use Disorder
7. Infectious Diseases
8. Psychiatric and Social Disorders

IV.       The Indian Health Service and its Funding Shortfalls

V.       Urban Versus Rural Healthcare Services for American Indians and Alaska Natives

1. Urban Populations
2. Rural Populations
3. Issues Common to Rural and Urban Settings

VI.       Root Causes of Health Disparity

1. Social Causes of Health Disparity
2. Cultural Barriers to Healthcare

VII.       Cultural Competence in Healthcare

1. American Indians and Alaska Natives and Cultural Competence
2. Cultural Competence in Nursing
3. Cultural Competence as a Multidisciplinary Approach

VIII.       Cultural Competence in Mental Health

IX.       Case Study: Cultural Competence

X.       Summary


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