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Alternate forms of medicine

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Specializes in Education, Acute, Med/Surg, Tele, etc. Has 13 years experience.

I know that most have experienced different cultural forms of medicine patients have performed before or even during their stay in hospitals or facilities. Some are very interesting and I absolutely love a challenge to get peoples cutural factors intermixed with Western med as much as I can (and it doesn't harm the patient)...but there are a few that even I went "ummmmmmm welllll...."

I won't mention the area the person came from, but there is a tradition in a certain set of cultures that practices a unique form of dealing with bowel issues. As it was explained to me, if a person has not had a bowel movement, particularily a woman, in 3 days or so...they are to get a family member to pick out a long stemmed rose, cut off the rose bud, and proceed to clean the colon with the stem...thorns and all!!!! Ummm OUCH!!!! Bowel movements are shameful, so to have trouble with them is serious business and must be dealt with in this fashion.

Now, this poor elderly person had this issue and had this procedure done, but they didn't tell the paramedics this was done, only that their loved one was bleeding severly from the rectum...I don't know...may be something I would mention, but as I said..it is considered shameful so... IN the ER the doc noticed a multitude of deep lacerations with his scope up the rectum, and well...he just happened to have heard of this practice in his career and asked. Sure enough, the patient had the procedure for 3 days twice a day!!!! OH MY!

It is rather difficult I suppose to be PC about this practice considering that it contradicts Western Med practice..but I guess they were very good about it! But I do think they let that family know that wasn't a really hot idea.

What interesting cultural medical items have you seen...I think it is good to share these with others, you just never know when one might pop up! Heck, this one had me by suprise completely!!!!! (ED proably gets a ton of these suprises!!!).

Antikigirl, ASN, RN

Specializes in Education, Acute, Med/Surg, Tele, etc. Has 13 years experience.

Oh now come on..I am not the only one!

There was this time where I had some folks from the middle east, and very Muslim. Their practice was that no woman was to see this patient, who was a married man, naked for any reason..no skin what so ever. Ummmmm kinda hard to do wound care post bi pass this way...Most nurses just did it...me, well I am not one to ingnore a challenge and patients rights either.

So..I talked with his brother who was at his side all the time, and the patients wife. I explained that I did not know much about their religion, but wanted to help. I wound up teaching his brother, who happily was an EMT in his country how to do a sterile dressing change! Then I would be escorted in by the wife when a dressing change needed to be done, and I would turn my back so I didn't see. The brother would do the dressing and had me to help by description on what to do during the change. It worked out so wonderfully and they appreciated it so much!!!!!!

I also got a prayer rug for them, and even though he was in bed all the time, we came to a comprimise that he could place it under his head and pray and we put his bed in the correct mannor to face the right way!

Yeah, it took lots of work and effort..and maybe it really shouldn't...but I was suprised that I was the only one that took this on! SO it was a very great learning experience for me! I loved it!!!!!!! And made my patient and his families stay so much more valuable spiritually for them! Well..the feather I put in my own cap for that helped..LOL! (Man I felt so great!!!!!).

Come on now..I know we all have stories about cultural differences..it is part of our jobs! And the best way to learn..is through eachother :)

SmilingBluEyes

Has 26 years experience.

When I lived in Oklahoma, it was not unheard of for medicine and or/wise elders people to come heal the sick in the hospital. And it often sure seemed to work.

Antikigirl, ASN, RN

Specializes in Education, Acute, Med/Surg, Tele, etc. Has 13 years experience.

When I lived in Oklahoma, it was not unheard of for medicine and or/wise elders people to come heal the sick in the hospital. And it often sure seemed to work.

Yeah..the power of faith...whatever that maybe, seems a very large enfluence on outcome! I find that part of our jobs the facinating part...and the one to learn most from!!!!!!

An Indian man, my chem teacher actually told me something that stuck...

"it does not matter whom you are...where you come from...but the light in your heart and where that light comes from...and teach others..because that is something you can give that doesn't take from you...doesn't hurt you...gives so much back..and in essence..teaches you more!!!!!!!!"

Another thing I live by!!!!!!

Thanks for posting this Smilingblueeyes.....I appreciate it..we can all learn so much from experiences!!!!!!!!

I've heard of "chapped ***" but "rosey ***" certainly brings new meaning to "pain in the ***!"

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