When interviewing this patient, it is okay to shake her hand and make direct eye contact.

Comment (2).   150 words citation and references


Scenario: Admitting a 19-year-old female college student for fevers. Patient has immigrated from Russia to complete her education.


When interviewing this patient, it is okay to shake her hand and make direct eye contact. As healthcare is not very accessible in Russia, it is safe to assume the patient has not had much experience being in a hospital, so it is important to make her feel comfortable. Explain your role thoroughly prior to conducting the interview. When obtaining a history of medication, be sure to ask about homeopathic remedies the patient might have used. When asking about mental health history, avoid using the word “mental” as it is taboo for this culture (Stratis Health, 2020). Instead, words such as depression or anxiety can be replaced. Russians are very hesistant to admit mental health problems or familial history of mental health problems. When assessing patient, always explain what you are going to do prior to doing it and why. Russian culture is very dependent on the family unit, so when delivering diagnoses, it may be wise to ask the patient if she has any family with her. Ask her who she would like to be involved in her medical decisions. Russians believe that if bad medical news is shared with the patient, it will only make them sicker (University of Washington Medical Center, 2007). It is important to know what your patient believes and if she wants the family to make decisions for her or if she wants to make them for herself. When considering the cause of the illness, take into consideration the lack of access to healthcare in Russia. Russians are not as likely to be vaccinated as U.S. citizens, so it is important to know the patient’s vaccination status. There is also a higher prevalence of TB and HIV in Russia. At this age, it is important to assess patient’s sexual activities. When assessing the patient’s sexual history, do so privately. Also, stress the importance of honesty in her answers. Patient may feel more comfortable with a nurse of the same sex, but if a male nurse were assigned to her, he can just ask her if she is okay with him taking care of her. The author was unable to find healthcare support systems that are specific to the Russian culture that are targeted for this patient, both locally and nationally.


Falkner, A., & Green, S. Z. (2018). Adult Health Assessment. Retrieved from Health Assessment Foundations for Effective Practice: https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs434vn/health-assessment-foundations-for-effective-practice/v1.1/#/chapter/4

Stratis Health. (2020). Russians in Minnesota. Retrieved from Culture Care Connection: http://culturecareconnection.org/matters/diversity/russian.html

University of Washington Medical Center. (2007). Communicating With Your Russian Patient. Retrieved from Culture Cues: http://depts.washington.edu/pfes/PDFs/RussianCultureClue.pdf

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