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Reflective Practice

Reflective Practice:
Exploring Health Beliefs and Determinants of Health
Mark Kevin D. Sadiamona

NURS 103
Wendy Chow
October 21, 2014

Reflective Practice

Health is the most valuable thing on earth. It is better than all of these
expensive things that ever created in life. Health is being free from any
illness or disease. Without it, we for sure would not improve in life. All of us
treat ourselves differently to shape our own health. For me as a Christian,
The biggest factor that affects my health is God. Why? It is because I believe
that he was the one who created me and I should take care of myself as a
thank you for what he has given me. Not all of us believe in this idea. Just
like what I have said, we have our own perception as to what factors affect
our own health. This falls off as being the determinants of health. There are
12 of them according to Canadian Fundamental of nursing (Potter, Perry pg.
6) and the two most important determinants for me are Physical
environments and Biological and Genetic endowment.
Since we were a child, we have been exposed to everything and
everyone around us. We are all shaped by the community that we were born
in. Our Physical environment is one of the main factors that affect our own
health. For me, I was born and raised in a very small city in the Philippines. I
came here in Canada 2 years ago and I can point out tons of differences
when it comes to environmental problems. Being a kid who grew up in a third
world country is hard especially when it comes to taking care of yourself.
When I was 9 years old, I was diagnosed with an asthma. It was the worst
feeling that a kid could ever get. Asthma is the most common chronic
respiratory disease among children from low income families who live in
neighborhood that are exposed to airborne contaminants (Potter, Perry pg.

Reflective Practice

8). This is so true because, I remember when I was 9, I heard on the news
that Philippines is one of the most polluted country in South East Asia. Also, 9
years ago when I had this disease, all the roads were not well constructed. As
a result, all the dusts that were from unfinished roads were mixed up with air
and being inhaled by the people. But on the bright side, all the foods that I
had when I grew up were surely fresh from farm. Whenever you go to the
market, you would see fishes moving and all the vegetables were freshly
harvested from backyard of the seller. Unlike here in Canada, most of the
market products were processed. Which means that the nutrients and
vitamins that are in the food could be artificial or getting unhealthy because
of the process that undergo through it. Thus, I eat healthier when I was in
back home than here. Another is that when I was a kid, I am always exposed
to sunlight. Because there are only two seasons in the Philippines which is
summer and rainy season. As opposed in Canada, where it is hard to achieve
extra sunlight that we need because of the different seasons. Especially
being in the winter as the longest season where sunlight is barely seen. It is
important to get vitamin D from sunlight because it helps us a lot. Vitamin D
keep bones healthy by increasing the intestinal absorption of calcium. One of
its biggest help is, it protects us against symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Therefore, the
main reason that I chose Physical Environment as a determinant is because our society that we
grew up in molds us into what we are now. Our health can be affected by what we eat, drink,
and all the factors that surround us. Our environment played a big part of building ourselves and
without it, we would not be as healthy or as good as what we want to be now.

Reflective Practice

In a basic family, our parents affect our whole lives since birth. Without
them, we would not be born in this world. Biological and genetic endowment
is the main determinant in our health. There are huge chances that we
inherit some histories about health condition that run in our family. Heredity
is greatly influenced by social and physical environment (Potter, Perry pg. 8).
We could inherit a lot of things that are connected to parents like their eating
habits, activities and even hygiene. My grandfather in my fathers side
inherited his diabetes from his mother. Diabetes according to health
dictionary could be inherited and there are chances that my grandfather
could pass this illness to one of his grandchildren. Also my grandfather in my
mothers side and I share the same problem of having weak lungs. We both
get tired easily and both had an asthma. But all these diseases that they had
were cured because they all started to eat healthy, drink all their medicines
and live reproductively. They changed their lifestyle in order for them to live
longer. Age is also a big determinant of health (Potter, Perry pg. 8). Older
people like both of my grandparents developed their illness when they were
in their 30s and 40s. They used to have a fit built of body but then aging
developed their illness. All of our parents for sure told us that health is
wealth. If we lived in a healthy lifestyle that our parents taught us, we could
have a big chance of being healthy. No matter how much money you have, if
your parents or ancestors health were not good, you could end up getting
of what they had.

Reflective Practice

Cultural beliefs is the last and final determinant that mostly affect my
health. As what I have said, I was born in a third world country where none of
these modern technologies can be used to cure diseases. Philippines is a
very religious country. Most of us believe in God and just by prayers we
believe that he could relieve all the pain that we are having. This sounds
ridiculous to others but that is the way we see things in life. When I was a
kid, I never go to a clinic to ask for a doctors note for my fever. My father
used to bring me in this so called quack doctor. This doctor just rubs my
back, gives me herbal medicine and the day after that, my fever is gone.
There is no scientific explanation to it but we believe that it actually cures
some diseases. I remember when I was a child, we could not afford hydrogen
peroxide to clean my wound so my parents used an alternative medicine.
They boiled guava leaves and poured it into my wound. Surprisingly the
wound became dry after 4 days of curing it with boiled guava leaves. As
opposed to my classmate Allyssa Crooks, she does not believe in all of these
practices. Allyssa was born and raised in Canada but her parents were raised
in a different country. Her father is a Jamaican and mother is a Filipino.
Therefore there are some chances that her parents beliefs would contradict
to each other. Allyssa comes from a religious family but she barely goes to
church and strongly believes in Karma. I think being raised in Canada
affects her beliefs in Catholicism because it is a diverse country and religion
is not being prioritized. Whenever she is sick, she just stays at home and
take over the counter medicine like Tylenol. All of the beliefs that you grew

Reflective Practice

up with could be with you for the rest of your life. Cultural and ethnic factors
influence peoples interactions with a health care system, their participation
in prevention and health promotion program, and understanding of health
and illness.
Experiencing all these determinants of health as we grow up could
influence our thinking. Our environment, genes, and cultures could help us in
some way but they would contradict to some nursing practices. First is our
environment affects our nursing beliefs because our surrounding could
change and our ideas about it could expand by studying more through it.
Next is that, Biological and Genetic endowment somehow collaborate with
nursing practices because it is true that we could inherit diseases through
our parents and family members. It is the scientific idea that resembles
them. Lastly, in nursing, we use scientific and more accurate way to treat
illnesses unlike in cultural and ethnic beliefs where we only use basic ideas
on curing them. Therefore the determinants of health play a big part when it
comes to health practices. Without them our health practices would not
improve and will always be the same.

Reflective Practice

Reference
Potter, P. and Perry, G. (2014). Determinants of Health. Canadian
Fundamentals of Nursing,
1(1) 6-10. Elsevier Canada, a division of Reed
Elsevier Canada, Ltd.