Hispanic refers to individuals who practice the Spanish culture living in the United States. Individuals from this group believe that God is actively involved in the world and that family is an important source of a person’s identity and support during challenges (Brooten et al., 2016). Hispanic death and dying rituals reflect their values, cultural heritage, and religious beliefs. During this time, immediate and extended family members are present to support one another emotionally. Support to the dying person involves caring for their loved ones instead of opting for professional care provided by healthcare givers (Brooten et al., 2016). A healthcare professional may provide nursing care to individuals from this culture by adhering to ethical guidelines that focus on doing good to the patient and respecting patient’s decisions. Any decisions made by the healthcare professional should support the family’s decision since the family’s focus is to care for their loved one (Ray, 2016).
Some Hispanic families may resist the idea of placing their sick members in a nursing home rather prefer to take care of the member at home until they pass away. In such a situation, the healthcare professional can organize home care where he/she can visit regularly to assess the progress of the patient (Ray, 2016). This will give the family maximum time to interact with their loved one and sort issues within the family. Majority of Hispanics are Roman Catholics where this faith has been identified to interfere with the administration of certain medications that relieve pain (Brooten et al., 2016). Individuals from this culture substitute medication with a priest who counsels and encourages the patient to overcome pain and have a peaceful death. The healthcare professional may involve a local priest to comfort the patient, perform the last rites that include anointing with oil, giving communion, and offering absolution for the dying patient and support the family with funeral arrangements (Brooten et al., 2016).
- Brooten, D., Youngblut, J. M., Charles, D., Roche, R., Hidalgo, I.; Malkawi, F. (2016). Death Rituals Reported by White, Black, and Hispanic Parents Following the ICU Death of an Infant or Child. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 31(2), 132–140. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pedn.2015.10.017
- Ray, M. A. (2016). Transcultural caring dynamics in nursing and health care. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company.