SOC 280 Discussion Institutional Discrimination in Healthcare

March 8, 2022
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SOC 280 Discussion Institutional Discrimination in Healthcare

SOC 280 Discussion Institutional Discrimination in Healthcare

Discussion Prompt 1: In your own words, define
discrimination and prejudice and provide at least two examples of each. Include
both institutional discrimination and institutional racism.

Discussion Prompt 2:Review the following website, which
provides statistics if the world were 100 people.
http://100people.org/statistics_100stats.php?section=statistics

What is your reaction to this? Discuss this project in terms
of global inequality, which you studied in this week’s materials. How could the
different sociological perspectives explain global inequality?

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SOC 280 Discussion Institutional Discrimination in Healthcare

SOC 280 Discussion Institutional Discrimination in Healthcare

National data reveal that over the past 50 years, the health of both black and white persons has improved in the United States as evidenced by increases in life expectancy and declines in infant and adult mortality (National Center for Health Statistics, 1998). However, black persons continue to have higher rates of morbidity and mortality than white persons for most indicators of physical health. Hispanics and American Indians also have elevated disease and death rates for multiple conditions. Although the role of medical care as a determinant of health is somewhat limited, medical care (especially preventive care, early intervention and the appropriate management of chronic disease) can play an important role in health (Bunker, Frazier, and Mosteller, 1995). Thus, racial and ethnic differentials in the quantity and quality of care are a likely contributor to racial disparities in health status. Compared with white persons, black persons and other minorities have lower levels of access to medical care in the United States due to their higher rates of unemployment and under-representation in good-paying jobs that include health insurance as part of the benefit package (Blendon et al., 1989; Trevino et al., 1991).

More striking, and disconcerting to many is the large and growing number of studies that find racial differences in the receipt of major therapeutic procedures for a broad range of conditions even after adjustment for insurance status and severity of disease (Harris, Andrews, and Elixhauser, 1997; Wenneker and Epstein,1989). Especially surprising to many are the racial disparities in contexts where differences in economic status and insurance coverage are minimized such as the Veterans Health Administration System (Whittle et al., 1993) and the Medicare program (McBean and Gornick, 1994). Other research indicates that, although physicians’ ability to detect the severity of pain does not differ for Hispanic versus non-Hispanic white patients (Todd, Lee, and Hoffman, 1994), Hispanic patients are markedly less likely than non-Hispanic white patients to receive adequate analgesia (Todd et al., 1993; Cleeland et al., 1997). Recent studies document that these differences in the receipt of therapeutic procedures have adverse effects on the health of minority group members (Peterson et al., 1997; Hannan, van Ryn, and Burke, 1999). How do we make sense of these differences and how do we move forward with an effective policy and research agenda to eliminate these disparities?

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