Cultural Differences That Surface When Case Study

Excerpt from Case Study :

These, then, eventually die leaving the transfer of oxygen in your blood being absolutely limited and far below the point at which the flow of oxygen needs to be in a human body. The flow of blood and transfer of oxygen eventually slows down tremendously and can cause terrible pain as well as make the immune system to be vulnerable to a variety of different diseases. There are many medical procedures that can allow the individual to find a relief (Lozoff et al., 2003).

In our case study, we will mainly highlight how the mother's approach was tentative and skeptical and how the four points that have been mentioned initially (communication, social organization, spatial dynamics and locus of control) are impacted through her approach. The first important thing to note about the attitude of the mother is that she does seem very forthcoming to find out as much as she possibly can about the sickle cell anemia disease that she fears her daughter has. This is directly linked to eth social order and locus of control in the social order that has been aforementioned. In the Japanese culture the primary decision maker is the father (the head of the family) or the oldest son, hence the mother's tentative and un-curious approach. It is important, in such circumstances, that the nurse or doctor takes the situation in their hands and make all the inquiries that they need to be answered in order to make a verifiable analysis. One of the most successful ways that this can be done is by respecting the restrictive environment while maintaining an inquisitive and genuine interest in the story of the patient. This allows the visitor, in this case the mother, to feel more comfortable to open up because she feels that there is a certain level of understanding coming from the other end. Also it is very important that the doctor or nurse handling the case does show any form of preferences or biases to the patient or visitor. In this case specially, the nurse needs to be very friendly, kind and forthcoming with all the necessary information that the mother will need regarding the disease as well as the possible treatments because of the lack of inquisitiveness form the mother (Black, 2003; Izumi, 2008).

The impact of such a restricted approach on the overall communication process is very negative as the entire has to be initiated from one side without any guarantee of a feedback from the receiver (mother). It will be the nurse's job to probe and pry and make the mother give her details about the conditions and symptoms that her daughter is facing. Furthermore, to instigate a response the nurse can resort to adopting a popular and successful strategy of revealing a personal experience and/or lesson and then ask the mother what she thinks about the situation (Black, 2003).

Anemia and iron deficiency have grown to be two of the most pressing diseases amongst the children and elderly women in Japan. The overall spatial dynamics and problems that the government of Japan has to take care of include the efficiency of nurses and doctors on giving timely and acceptable remedies because without it the government has to face the financial burdens of treating relative problems like psychomotor progress, damaged cognitive operation, and growth retardation amongst others (Lozoff et al., 2003). Furthermore, acceptable remedies have to be the ones that will not go against or offend the overall social structure or beliefs of the patient. This is one of the most important factors in providing healthcare in any and every culture. The nurse and doctor have to make sure that they are respectful of the individuals, their principles, their traditions and their biases while simultaneously controlling their own biases (WHO, 2001). This can be done through really listening to the story of the patient when he/she is willing to tell it as through that story the nurse can get a very clear pattern of the dos and don'ts of the medical preferences. If the patient is not very forthcoming with a story, as is the situation in this case, it is the nurse's task to be tolerant and intelligently structure a conversation whereby he/she can clearly illustrate and explain to the mother what needs to be done and give her time to fully grasp the situation. Furthermore, it is very important that the nurse takes an 'apprentice' approach here and aims to learn facts from the mother through genuine and curiously designed questions. Its is also very important for the nurse in this situation to be absolutely transparent and clear about what she wants the mother to know, what are her responsibilities as a family member and let the mother know her contribution as a nurse (Izumi, 2008).

In such a scenario, a possible implication for the Japanese government could be to use the Synergy model of nursing which is basically an American procedure of nursing whereby the burse is able to balance the needs and demands of the family and the patient. This is very important within the dynamics of the Japanese culture because the overall stringent approach of the father making all the medical decisions (whether to get the disease treated or what treatment to use, etc.) could lead to situations where the right decisions are not always made for the patient. Furthermore, this model allows the nurse to have complete control over her own biases and will be trained to amalgamate the traditions and beliefs of the patients into the medical procedures that he/she is offering to the patient with substitute analyses and treatments (Izumi, 2008).


Throughout this paper, I have focused on the healthcare differences and problems that the country and citizens of Japan face everyday and how four particular aspects 1) communication, 2) social organization, 3) spatial dynamics and 4) locus of control have an impact over their comprehension and approach towards different life processes, like birth and death, their approach towards handling stress, their overall approach towards maintaining health, their approach towards various medical procedures and situations, the nurse's input and the impact of the cultural differences that will occur in the treatment process.


Black R. (2003) Micronutrient deficiency -- an underlying cause of morbidity and mortality. Bulletin of World Health Organization, 81:79.

Dr Izumi, S., (2008) Japanese Patients' Descriptions of 'The Good Nurse', accessed on February 28, 2009.

Kino*****a, J., & Palevsky, N. (1992) Gateway to Japan (Rev. ed.). Tokyo: Kodansha International.

Lozoff B, De Andraca I, Castillo M, Smith JB, Walter T, Pino P. (2003) Behavioral and developmental effects of preventing iron-deficiency anemia in healthy full-term infants. Pediatrics.112:846-854.

Matsumoto, M., Okayama, M., Inoue, K., Kajii, E. (2004) High-tech rural clinics and hospitals in Japan: a comparison to the Japanese average.…

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