The Amish Culture
The Amish is a conservative Christian subculture found in twenty-eight states of the United States. The characteristics of the Amish include reluctance to adopt modern technology convergence, plain dressing and simple living. The Amish believes in unspoken principle of Gelassenheit, which implies a complete yield to the will of God and the church. The Amish churches have unspoken rules called the Ordnung that governs the cultural behavior and life of the members. The population of the Amish doubles every fourteen years, and amounted to 249,000 in the year 2010 (Gillum, 2010). The Amish culture is distinct from other cultures because they have rules that address the type of employment for members, style of dressing, technology use and gender roles.
The Amish does not believe in seeking medical practices from modern hospitals. Research carried out to identify the beliefs and healthcare practices revealed that cardiac knowledge was limited among the Amish. Data from seven females and eight males with a mean of 61years +18.35/-18.35 showed that the main cause of limited cardiovascular knowledge was prioritizing maintenance of cultural traditions (Gillum, 2010). People are suspicious about receiving health education from outside since the Amish concentrates on maintaining cultural traditions, which sometimes conflict with recommended health lifestyle changes. This contradiction causes the Amish to avoid using the modern healthcare. The Amish does not have the knowledge of modern methods of identifying and preventing diseases. The group uses alternative and complimentary healthcare providers because of the belief that good health is a gift from God (Gillum, 2010). Modern healthcare is sought only after the alternative and complimentary practices have failed.
The Amish neither accept traditional healthcare insurance nor participate in Medicaid. Most of the Amish have made contracts with local healthcare providers for discounted rates in exchange for cash payments. The church leaders organize fundraising to help members if they are unable to settle high medical bills on their own. Church leaders divide the amount of the bill among the whole population and decide how much each family in the district will pay (Helmuth & Schwartz, 2008). The Amish conducts fundraisers to help families in need since they feel that they have a moral obligation to aid their neighbors and share their fears. When recommended to the Amish, health care providers need to be mindful of the health care testing and treatment expenses.
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