Health History of a Native American Male

Health History of a Native American Male

            Native American history is deeply imbedded in American history as they are the first known settlers to the America’s before the British came. However, faced with many challenges throughout history, these settlers, and their families have a unique history worth sharing. According to the website, the way of life of American Indians differs on each reservation which is many and varied around the United States of America. While there are differences, there are similarities among the American Indian community; Notably, the high poverty rate as there have been reports of up to 85% among tribes, stagnation educational growth, and communities reporting gainfully full-time males at about 33% (

            As a 23-year old Native American male with a family history of diabetes, hypertension, and alcoholism which are modifiable at an early age with a change in lifestyle behaviors and diet. He is currently complaining of anxiety; while the reason for anxiety was not listed as one of the behaviors that he is concerning is his lifestyle which is smoking “pot” (marijuana) and drinking alcohol. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol can cause an altered thought process as the brain functionalities become impaired thus affecting mood hence the feeling of anxiety.

            With concerned presentation and lifestyle, spiritually has now become a displeasing factor for this patient as he believes illicit smoking drugs and drinking alcohol will bar him from heaven.  It may be safe to assume that the use of these drugs is not for medicinal purpose. According to Ball, Dains, Flynn, Solomon & Stewart (2015) Native American has a more holistic approach to life; Therefore, with this possible feeling of imbalance (anxiety) this male client may think he is being punished.

            It is important to understand that the world is a “melting pot” in that there are many different people from different ethnic and cultural background. Healthcare providers have to operate with the understanding that opinions, lifestyle, circumstances of others encountered are different. Therefore, non-judgmental and unbiased practices should be the goal (Bell et al. 2015 p.22).  Debiasi & Selleck (2017) reminds practicing nurse the importance of proving competent care to the patient through training and assessment as this is a strong self-analysis and the ability to make self-improvement.

Pertinent Questions to Ask in Building a Health History

How long have you been you “pot”?

How of often do you consume alcohol and home may drinks per day/weeks/month?

What is your employment status?

What age did you start drinking alcohol and smoking “pot’?

How can we help you?

            While there are many questions worth exploring, these are crucial questions that will give a greater understanding and knowledge of the patient health history and ways in which the provider can fully understand how to treat the patient. The final question allows the provider to determine if the patient would like to manage his anxiety; to stop smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol; or, both. Sometimes patient wants help with the symptoms and not cure. As the ball., et al. explained while we are there for the patient the goal is to work with the patient on their terms and not by force as forcing treatments can cause noncompliance and missed follow-up appointments.


Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2015). Seidel’s guide to              physical examination (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

Debiasi, L. B., & Selleck, C. S. (2017). CULTURAL COMPETENCE TRAINING FOR                         PRIMARY CARE NURSE PRACTITIONERS: AN INTERVENTION TO INCREASE CULTURALLY COMPETENT CARE. Journal 0f Cultural Diversity, 24(2), 39-45.

Marijuana and Public Health. Retrieved from

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