Cultural Awareness

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This essay will bring an understanding of the need for cultural awareness and competency in nursing practice in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait people, known as Indigenous people of Australia. Different factors responsible for chronic illnesses in Indigenous population will be explained and how nurses can help in conquering the gap between Indigenous and non Indigenous population in relation to health. Emphasis will be on how ethnocentric human nature can affect health adversely. It will also discuss how sexual health is neglected in Indigenous population and how by good communication skills nurses can make Indigenous patients talk about health issues. In the end issues related to cultural competency will be discussed and how critical …show more content…
Ethnocentric human nature which is making us perceive things and interpret behavior to others is actually acting as a cultural filter. This filtering tendency is from one’s own culture which is actually a normal consequence of growing up in a society… (Eckermann et al. 2010). It is causing longevity of rigid attitude and stereotype in young health professionals (Blackman, 2009). Following example discussed by Goold, Turale, Miller, and Usher ( as cited in Downing & Kowal, 2011) explains the negative impact of ethnocentricity in health system. Sometimes Indigenous people are ready to travel 200 km to visit a health facility which offers Indigenous specific health services even if they have local general practitioners. This gap or perception of racism has an adverse effect in their overall health (Ziersch, Gallaher, Baum, & Bentley, 2011). This indicates that understanding Indigenous culture will bring an effective outcome of health services which is achievable by introducing cultural training into nursing practice (Downing & Kowal, 2011). The Federal Government and some professional organizations are developing polices and introducing cultural specific terminology in the training of health workers (Downing & Kowal, 2011). To get positive outcome from training health workers, we should not only focus on specific details of Indigenous culture but also should have a good …show more content…
It grows with the development of communities and every health professional should take it as an attitude and express it in professional behaviour. (Ranzijn, et al 2009).For example (Blackman, 2009) explains about a 45-year-old Indigenous patient a suspected case of infective tuberculosis. He had a history of type 2 diabetes mellitus, continual respiratory infection and skin infection and he was not happy with his current admission. Nurses and other health professionals were not able to develop a good relationship with him at emergency or even in the medical ward where the patient was transferred. This first impression seeded some perceived racism in patient’s mind. While reviewing with the medical team he did not feel comfortable, he felt insulted and scared about complication as explained by his doctor. He wanted to leave the ward and walk out of hospital (Blackman, 2009). Quick and critical thinking of the nursing staff to use Indigenous health services by involving the Indigenous nurse in the team changed the whole scenario of the situation (Blackman, 2009). Indigenous nurse was able to gain the patient’s trust who felt isolated and she understood his anger was due to delay in admission. By active communication she was

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