Assignment: Humanistic Characteristics

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Assignment: Humanistic Characteristics

Assignment: Humanistic Characteristics

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The Characters

I. The consumer. As a framework for the consumer, I have chosen the work of Hadley Cantril (3). He describes humanistic characteristics that must be considered by Man in relating to Man. Man requires that his survival needs be satisfied and wants security in physical and psychological meaning to provide orientation and integration through time. Security protects gains made and allows Man to look to the future. It is also important to have enough order or certainty in life to enable Man to judge with some accuracy what will or will not occur. Human beings have the capacity to make choices. People perceive only what is relative to their choices and make choices accordingly. Humans require the freedom to exercise the choices they are capable of making. Humans must know they are valued by others. The individual must have values and beliefs to which he or she can commit himself with some certainty (3). These are the humans who get sick, have accidents, and appear at the door of the health care system. They are

in jeopardy of losing control of themselves and they are afraid. As professionals we must recognize their tremendous vulnerability and offer them services in which they have choices and control. To describe the consumer, I would say: . . . some are saved, . . . some are used, . . . some are passive, . . . some

want control, . . . some are sick, . . . some are well, . . . some are disabled, . . . some are crocks. Yet ALL are HUMAN and ALL are INDIVIDUALS. Consumers feel that health care has become a right. The current situation is governed by a “more is better” atti-

tude—that is, more resources, more facilities, more manpower, more of what it will take to provide what “I” need with no thought to how the services will be paid for. Human life is considered priceless and no amount of money is too much to devote to “my” life (4).

II. The federal government. The federal government is a multibillion-dollar operation organized to protect the consumer at the expense of the consumer. Federal involvement in health care began in 1907 when the Hygienic Laboratory was formed to work toward the eradication of public health problems in food and water. From this lab- oratory, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) were developed. The NIH is the biomedical research center of the country. It houses 11 institutes that study specific diseases and organ systems. The NIH is the main support of the majority of medical teaching institutions. Medical schools’ dependence on federal subsidies encourages specializa- tion and emphasizes technology as the answer to health problems (4). The public health service no longer focuses on health promotion and disease prevention. The following represents the major dates that led to the current federal regulation of health care.

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