Cultural Identity : An Important Factor For Health Care Professionals

793 Words Aug 26th, 2016 4 Pages
Cultural Identity can be most basically described as a sense of belonging within a group. It is formed due to companionship based on the same traditions, beliefs, social structures and languages. Cultural identity is specific for every person and isn’t universally the same. In conjunction with this when an individual migrates or is removed from a community a person’s mental and physical health can be negatively affected due to a lost sense of self and belonging. These concepts are depicted in the documentary ‘Crossing the Line’ as a consequence of the Aboriginal People’s loss of cultural norms, religious customs and having to adjust to a new culture, thus changing their sense of self and identity. Cultural identity is an important factor for health care professionals to consider as culturally sensitive practices need to be carried out to ensure every individual is attended to appropriately, continues to seek support and is encouraged to maintain good health.

Sensitivity and understanding of an individual’s cultural identity is crucial when working as a health care professional. Despite the typical socio-economic problems involved in health inequalities the impact of a lack of understanding and sensitivity towards a person’s cultural identity and health need to be considered also. This issue is presented in ‘Crossing the Line’ when one of the medicine students, Paul attempted to talk to a group of Aboriginal students about mental health and suicide. However traditionally it…

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