(KTSF by Susannah Lee)
El Camino hospital in Mountain View celebrated Chinese New Year with cultural events and food, in an attempt to educate staff on how to better service Chinese patients.
The hospital’s Chinese Health Initiative organized traditional Chinese New Year events for staff members, hoping to deepen cultural understandings and awareness .
Jean Yu, Manager of CHI says, ”Chinese people prefer warm or hot water when they are sick, but in American culture, everybody drinks cold water. This is just a minor thing, but if there is no education or propaganda, it could cause much inconvenience to the Chinese patients.” Yu added that the expectations of Chinese patients in terms of communications, food choices or even treatment and medication may be different than western medical norms. She encouraged medical workers to ask patients questions in order to understand better.
Nursing student Jacquelin Nyugen, who volunteers for emergency services at El Camino Hospital shares what she learned about caring for Chinese patients.
“There is the Yin and Yang (diet) after labor; hot food and hot drinks are prefered; usually there is somebody appointed in the family to communicate with, who make decisions and it’s usually the eldest male.”
The Silicon Valley has gone through changes in its demographic composition and medical services are making adjustments.
Anne Kusian, President of the El Camino Hospital Auxillary says, ”I think we try to be sensitive to all various diversed cultures we have in this area .”
The CHI provides health information and holds medical events for the Chinese community, and aims at enhancing cultural sensitivity as well. Information is available to staff, patients and the public.
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