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NJ hospitals fine-tuning responses to ethnic needs

The Bergen County Record, February 17, 2011
An elderly Cuban woman thinks a nurse should offer her a hug or give her hand a squeeze rather than just checking her blood pressure and other vitals in a businesslike fashion. A first-generation Korean-American woman who just gave birth wants to be offered a cup of warm tea and a bowl of seaweed soup, rather than a pitcher of ice water. The family of an Orthodox Jewish patient may need a place to sleep over if he's admitted close to sunset on a Friday, when strict observers of the Sabbath are not permitted to drive. These are cultural lessons that doctors and other caregivers at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck have been striving to learn in the past few years, as administrators have sought to extend a more inviting "Welcome" mat to the region's burgeoning ethnic and religious groups.

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