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Using the patient information provided, respond to the following questions: (a) What cultural considerations are important for you to remember while you interview Ms. Li? (b) What is the abuse assessment screen? (c) If abuse is discovered, what should you do?

Patient Information:

Patient:  Sue Li

Age:  20

Ethnicity: Asian American

A.         Nurses must look at the big picture when approaching situations, especially those of cultural differences.  What we do or don’t do during an assessment of a person of a different culture may make or break the encounter.  In the scenario given, the patient is a 20-year-old Asian American female by the name of Sue Li.

             When assessing Ms. Li, I would use the appropriate tittle for her name unless told otherwise by the patient.  I would then assess the situation of Ms. Li’s cultural background and what she is currently practicing.  It may be that Ms. Li has completely assimilated to an American culture, or Ms. Li may need an interpreter, but I won’t know until I ask.  I would then put Ms. Li at ease by explaining that we will take a holistic view at her current health status and that if there is anything special she would like me to know before the assessment (Chung, Nguyen, & Gany, 2002). 

            During the assessment, I would let Ms. Li control the amount of eye contact that goes on because direct eye contact may be taken as a sign of disrespect.  I would listen and acknowledge Ms. Li’s feelings and apprehensions.  When speaking with Ms. Li I would use clear, concise, plain language to assure that she understands completely what is being discussed (Chung, et al., 2002).  The nurse will also need to know the extent of traditional medicine Ms. Li has used and if she is taking any medicinal remedies that may cause complications with any medications prescribed. 

B.         The Abuse Assessment Screen (AAS) is an assessment tool designed to screen for domestic violence and abuse during pregnancy by asking 3 to 5 questions about current emotional, sexual, and physical abuse before and during pregnancy (WHEC, 2016).  The AAS also assesses the frequency and severity of the abuse if present.  This assessment is performed when the patient is alone with the health care worker.

C.         If during the assessment there is abuse that is suspected or disclosed, the nurse must take a gentle approach in an open, nonjudgmental way.  The nurse must be a good listener and validate the patient’s decision to speak up about the abuse.  The nurse must communicate that this type of behavior is unacceptable and she does not deserve to be treated like that (Power, 2016).  The nurse must assure that the patient is immediately in a safe situation especially if the abuser is nearby.  The appropriate authorities must be notified so that an investigation can take place.  In certain situations, such as a sexual assault or rape, there may be the need to call in a special team to take over the investigation (Power, 2016).  The situation then must be documented immediately so that there are not any important facts accidently left out or forgotten.


Chung, H., Nguyen, D., & Gany, F. (2002). Initial behavioral health assessment of Asian Americans. Part 1. Keyprinciples. Western Journal of Medicine, 176(4), 233–236.

Power, C. (2016, September 23). Domestic Violence: What Can Nurses Do? Retrieved January 21, 2017, from https://www.crisisprevention.com/Blog/September-2011/Domestic-Violence-What-Can-Nurses-Do

Women’s Health and Education Center (WHEC). (2016) – Violence Against Women – Domestic Violence During Pregnancy. Retrieved January 21, 2017, from http://www.womenshealthsection.com/content/vaw/vaw011.php3


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