Posted: May 9th, 2022
Mrs. Li Huan, a 79-year-old Chinese American widow who lives alone in New York City’s Chinatown recently had a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) or stroke. Mrs. Li has right-sided paralysis with partial loss of voluntary movement and sensation in her right arm and leg. Mrs. Li has weak facial muscles, difficulty with speech, and drooling. She experiences numbness and tingling in her arms and legs. Mrs. Li is going to a rehabilitation center known for delivering culturally competent interprofessional care where she is cared for by a team of credentialed health care providers: Dr. Indira Patel, nurse J.J. Johnson, physical therapist Mohammad Abu Said, dietician Maria Gonzalez, and Chinese American herbalist, Chen Minzhe.
(Note: In traditional Chinese culture, a person’s last name or surname is written first, followed by his/her first name. Therefore, the patient’s last name is Li and the herbalist’s last name is Chen. It is proper etiquette to call a person of Chinese background by his/her title, in this case, Mrs. Li and Mr. Chen until the individual gives you permission to use his/her first name. To further confuse matters, many acculturated Chinese Americans are likely to reverse their first and last names in the typical US or Canadian order. Therefore, it is important to ask the patient, “What is your first name? What is your last name?” Note the correct order on the patient’s chart for other members of the team.)
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