Amish Health Care

Kay Ella Bleecher knows a thing or two about the Amish community.

She grew up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania – the heart of Amish country – and the differing health care environments therein. Her knowledge of the community and her nursing career enabled her to pull back the curtain on how Amish patients are treated, during Wednesday’s session “Amish Health Care: Plain not Fancy.”

“We can help the patient better if we understand them,” said Bleecher.

She enumerated countless health care learnings from religious beliefs to societal habits for the audience, including:

  • A woman’s white bonnet, which they regard as a necessity to pray to God, must never be removed.
  • Strokes are more prevalent, while heart disease and diabetes cases are less so.
  • The Amish do not get immunizations.
  • The Amish are stoic. “If they ask for Tylenol or a pain reliever, it must be bad,” Bleecher said.
  • Most injuries in the Amish community, including serious traumas, come from buggy and farm accidents

When it comes to health care, the Amish often accept health outcomes with the expression of “God’s will prevails,” Bleecher explained.