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Black/African Americans And Health Care Essay

1396 words - 6 pages

Black/African Americans and Health Care
Paula Elizondo
Grand Canyon University: NRS-429V
November 23, 2014

Black/African Americans and Health Care
Americans live in a country that is considered a melting pot of many different ethnic groups and cultures. In fact, the U.S. Census of 2010 reported that 36.3% of the population belongs to a racial or ethnic minority group (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). In spite of national goals to improve health care, including the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2014), many Americans are still finding it difficult and challenging to maintain good health and having ...view middle of the document...

More Black/African Americans die from these issues than their white counterparts. Black/African Americans have a lower life expectancy than other minorities and are "40% more likely to have high blood pressure than non-Hispanic whites and 30% more likely to die from heart disease compared to non-Hispanic white men" (Edelman, Kudzma, & Mandle, 2014). Infant mortality is greater in Black/African Americans than whites. The pre-term birth and infant death rate for Black/African Americans is 17.1% in comparison to 10.7% of Asian (Healthy People 2020, 2013). The list goes on and on.
In an article of the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, Watts indicated that there is evidence of "ethnic and racial disparities in health care." Disparities that are found throughout health care and other various areas such as, health insurance, health access, and utilization (2003). A study was conducted by the Princeton Survey Research Associates and the results found that in comparison to white counterparts, minority groups less likely considered themselves to have insurance and be in very good health. Evidence showed that there is an inequality in health care in four categories: access to care, cultural competence in services related to health care, quality of clinical care and patient–physician communication. With regard to provider communication minorities were less likely to: Be treated with respect, receive clinical services that are needed for monitoring chronic diseases, have a primary care provider, follow the physician's advice or instructions because of cost constraints. These results provide evidence that society needs to address the cultural and financial barriers to health care for racial and ethnic minorities (Collins, Hughes, Doty, Ives, Edwards, & Tenney, 2002).
The 2010 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report found that Black/African Americans received worse care than whites in 40% of measures, had worse access to care than whites in one third of the measures, and fewer than 20% of disparities faced by blacks showed evidence of improving (2011). Americans of every race, creed, and culture are entitled to equality in access and quality of their health care.

Barriers to Health
Social, economic, and environmental factors contribute to the health status of Black/African Americans. One of the largest barriers to health for Black/African Americans is poverty. Those that live in poverty have no access or less access to resources and healthcare (Edelman, Kudzma, & Mandle, 2014). In Healthy People 2020, statistics show that education level in addition to poverty level has an impact on the health status of Black/African Americans as well. In fact, the percentage of adults who had less than high school education were "nine times more likely" to be uninsured, mothers were 55% less likely to immunize their babies, 56.8% were not having colorectal screening, had poorer glycemic and blood pressure control than those with an...

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