A reflection is an act which empowers a person to examine their previous knowledge by recognizing issues and moving further to progress in future scenarios (Wain, 2017). This essay will reflect my learning on the course, "401206 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Autumn 2020". This paper will use Gibbs’ Reflective cycle to reflect and summarise my learnings (Wain, 2017).
My lecturer took a lecture on the well-being of the Aboriginal people of Australia. From his teaching, I came to know about the social and cultural determinants of health. Moreover, the lecture discussed the importance of culture for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. health is impacted in many ways like corporeal, psychological, and societal well-being due to the effect of social and cultural determinants (The Lancet Public Health, 2018). This trapped my consideration for the reason that my lecturer also taught that Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders have life-expectancy of around 10-12 yrs less than the non-Indigenous population. It is an important issue to know that which are the recent factors that are affecting the health, sickness rate, death rate, births, and health of the population. The points that were considered and emphasized during the lecture were economic status, sex, religion, job-status, creed, age, education, and job-status (Reath & Omara, 2018).
Till the time I was not introduced to the topic, I was not knowing that Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders face social and cultural challenges that affect their health. I came to know that these are the disadvantaged and marginalized groups of people that are deprived of attaining services that are there for Australians in the country. My thought was that efforts are not made from the side of Indigenous people to improve their conditions and other related factors.
After my teacher introduced the topic, In came to know that history, policy, education, unemployment, routine, racism, casteism, poverty, and other related factors that affect the health. Before this, I was not knowing the real meaning of social and cultural determinants of health. Now, I came to know that everyone wishes to lead quality life regardless of the related influences and philosophies from the public they reside in.
The good thing about the lectures in the subject was that it increased my awareness about the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders are the marginalized groups of people that experience poor health and die due to chronic illnesses. The reason for facing these many types of issues is that they are not allowed to avail of the medical services that are provided by the government. There are limited access to and support for education and employment. There is limited access to medical health and other related services. They use to reside in a poor society where they are not stopped to consume alcohol, smoke, and other related behaviour. (Wedderburn, Walker & Zampatti, 2017). This awareness about their history represents the bad experience, as it involves the high prevalence of discrimination between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous population-based on culture and social factors.
Indigenous people face criticism and are heavily influenced by the social determinants of health. They face a different level of racism and criticism in the country (Azzopardi et al., 2018). Moreover, due to poor experiences in the history resulting from wars, colonialism and Stolen generations, their lives have impacted negatively. They now face poorer health and financial outcomes. Although the government has initiated different programs and policies to support the Indigenous people, lack of awareness amongst the same along with poor implementation has resulted in diminished outcomes. They are counted in the underserved and underprivileged groups of the population (Wedderburn, Walker & Zampatti, 2017).
Numerous factors are there that are linked with poor health situations such as political, societal, cultural, and attitudinal that is not allowing the Indigenous and non-Indigenous population to close this gap and serve with equality and equity both in the country.
To be able to provide better care and services for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in future, I plan to get involved in more practices and programs which improve my competency and capability. I will work to improve my professional skills of care to ensure better health outcomes for them.
Azzopardi, P. S., Sawyer, S. M., Carlin, J. B., Degenhardt, L., Brown, N., Brown, A. D., & Patton, G. C. (2018). Health and wellbeing of Indigenous adolescents in Australia: a systematic synthesis of population data. The Lancet, 391(10122), 766-782.
Davy, C., Harfield, S., McArthur, A., Munn, Z., & Brown, A. (2016). Access to primary health care services for Indigenous peoples: A framework synthesis. International Journal of Equity in Health, 15(163).
Reath, J. S., & O'Mara, P. (2018). Closing the gap in cardiovascular risk for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Medical Journal of Australia, 209(1), 17-18.
Lancet Public Health. (2018). Australia's Stolen Generations: sorry is not enough. The Lancet Public Health, 3(9), e407.
Wain, A. (2017). Learning through reflection. British Journal of Midwifery, 25(10), 662-666.
Wedderburn, S. D., Walker, K. F., & Zampatti, B. P. (2017). Habitat separation of Craterocephalus (Atherinidae) species and populations in off‐channel areas of the lower River Murray, Australia. Ecology of Freshwater Fish, 16(3), 442-449
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