In healthcare systems, nurses encourage self-determination, cultural safety in everyday practice which aims to provide effective and responsible care. In literal terms, cultural safety can be defined as a mentally,emotionally, and spiritually safe environment for patients belonging to different communities irrespective of their race,gender, and age(Yeung, 2016).Nurses should identify the impact of theiractions on the safety of the Aboriginal community whichis an essential component in promoting cultural safety and self-determination(Yeung, 2016). Nurses must respect and understand the culture of other communities and communicate effectively for improved patient outcomes. Government and politicians can encourage health equality for the Aboriginal community, which acts as a ladder to bridge the gap owing to healthcare equity. This means there should be no, assault, discrimination, and denial of identity ofrightsfor the Aboriginal community (Cox,2017). The essay will reflect the role of proficient nurses and the communityto create a safe healthcare environmentfor Aboriginal patients.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been considered socially disadvantaged and marginalized groups. They receive unequal outcomes in terms of education, housing, and employment as compared to other Australians. Discrimination on the basis of caste and lack of cultural understanding still impacts their lives as they experience social injustice and inequalities (Lokuge et al.,2017).I, being a nurse in a healthcare system believe that one's cultural background, beliefs, and upbringing will create a broader way for positive behavior and interaction with others. Being an Indian, I have always been taught to respect elders even belonging to a different society and respect their culture as well and this understanding has helped me to create a positive behavior during my nursing practice to effectively interact with the Aboriginals people and their families. The interaction will encourage patient safety as health is not restricted to physical wellbeing rather, includes emotional, social, and cultural wellbeing(Lokuge et al.,2017). Encouraging health equality will create a sense of cultural safety in the patients where they can reflect their ideas and preferences without the fear of being judged. My cultural values and respect for others also support to communicate effectively with Aboriginal healthcare workers which promote teamwork for patient safety and wellbeing.
Apart from providing cultural safety and self-determination to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, nursing practice standards guide them to promote cultural safety like clinical leadership and effective communication. Clinical leadership focuses on the role of individual nurses towards patient care and can be achieved with improved skills and proper management with inter-professional teams(Shahid et al.,2011).Clinical leadership aims to provide a point of care to the patients by improving individual work practices at both personal and professional levels. I follow a clinical leadership strategy which encourages me to take a critical decision for patients belonging to the weaker community for their wellbeing(Smykowsky&Williams,2019). Also, effective communication leads to a strong patient-nurse relationship. In Australia, patients from the Indigenous community lack superior health care services owing to the language barrier which creates space for ineffective communication. Effective communication by understanding culture and value promote self-determination and cultural safety, where the patient shares their inner thoughts, and treatment preferences (Shahid et al.,2011).The nursing principles guide every nursing practitioner to follow best communication practices for improving safety and care quality. Effective communication is also essential and bridges the gap between nurses and patients also, in favor of effective care (WHO, 2020). I being the nursing practitioner have adopted these practices that reduce the communication gap in patients resulting in strong and effective care.
In today's world, it is the right of every civilian to access equal education and knowledge without being judged on basis of their cultural background as part of their self-determination process (Adams & Edwards, 2011).I, beinga nurse working in the hospital setting believes teamwork in healthcare systems encourages the understanding of equal care for improved care outcomes (WHO,2020). Moreover, it is the legal and ethical right of patients to control their destinies byparticipating in advanced care planning through the help of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organizations program (ACCHO). The program supports and nurses to take critical decisions that are patient-centered resulting inineffective care and close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians(Adams & Edwards, 2011). I believe the negative experiences of medical services, racism, gaps in language are the historical factors creating reluctance in Aboriginal people which restricts them to participate with the medical systems to utilize healthcare services. I believe there should be a standard that aims to provide equal care standards to Aboriginal people for their culture and community wellbeing.(Ward, Fredericks & Best,2018). The National Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander HealthPlan 2013-2023, is such an initiative by the Australian government to promote cultural safety for patients and their families as well by focusing on health promotional strategies. MHAC (2017) initiates the programs for encouraging collaboration involving cultural strategies that focus on their emotional wellbeing, diet, and physical activities.The program called Miwatj Health provides clinical servicesand helps the doctors to vain educated for identifying the illness like acute trauma and to develop various care plans for Aboriginal children including regular checkups (MHAC,2017). They follow guidelines by CARPA (Central Australian Rural Practitioners Association) for promoting cultural safety and wellbeing in Aboriginal people by improved healthcare services. I believe the practical application of these initiatives will encourage healthcare safety among Indigenous people.
Aboriginal people have maintained their cultural identity for a long which is essential for their health and well-being.I agree that the non-Indigenous community should also take collaborative actions that promote effective partnerships with people form Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The partnership can be made effective by identifying their needs and experiences followed by providing training for the community which adds value to the journey of cultural competence (AG, n.d).Multiple teams can combine together to organize workshops, multiple discussions, and interactions to establish a fair partnership by sharing information regarding culture (McLean,2015). In Australia, the government supports the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Aboriginal and Torres Island Peoples which focus on self-determination and the importance of consulting with Indigenous people supports to understand their culture for community wellbeing (AG, n.d).The efforts that can reduce prejudice and racism for Indigenous people can be based on four major factors and include individual, cognitive, interpersonal, and societal. Racism can shatter the sense of worth and confidence in Aboriginal people and in 2011, the Australian government initiated an Anti-Racism strategy that aims to provide education by engaging youth (AHRC,2012). I agree that participating in these programs will create a culturally safe healthcare environment for Indigenous communities. The data regarding employment states only 39% of Indigenous women were employed as compared to 55% Indigenous women, owing to reduced education opportunities (Haxhiraj, 2013). Therefore, the Australia government initiated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) which state, it is the right of every citizen to freely pursue their economic and cultural development which I believe closes the gap between non-Indigenous and Indigenous people.
A culturally safe environment describes an emotionally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically safe environment for people typically belonging to weaker sections of society where is no denial, discrimination of their needs, and worth. I agree that sharing knowledge, respect, and experience will encourage partnering and learning together outcomes. The partnership can be made effective by identifying needs and experiences followed by proving training for the community which creates a path for cultural competence I believe that unsafe culture and lack of self-determination constitute a threat to their health and wellbeing and can be minimized by participating effectively in the political campaigns and anti-racism activities. Politicians and government should create a platform where the Indigenous communities can entertain equal education, employment, and housing rights. I agree with the fact that healthcare workers should identify the impact of their actions on the safety of the Indigenous community which is an essential component in promoting the cultural safety, self-determination, and collaboration
Adams, F.& Edwards, J, (2011).Aboriginal Community Control and Decolonizing Health Policy: A Yarn from Australia, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing.
(n.d) Guidance for non-Indigenous organizations seeking to build effective and respectful partnerships with Indigenous organizations and communities. Retrieved from https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/1d5f8a1e-0eb8-408f-a90b-fbedf532e12d/files/partnering-indigenous-organisations-guide.pdf
AHRC. (2012).National anti-racism strategy and racism. It stops with me campaign. Retrieved from https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/race-discrimination/projects/national-anti-racism-strategy-and-racism-it-stops-me-campaign
Cox, L. (2017). Do politicians need cultural safety training? Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bA-UANKSmc
Haxhiraj.A. (2013).The Covenant on civil and political rights. Journal of Law and Medicine, 3(2), 309-313.
Lokuge, K., Thurber, K., Calabria, B., Davis, M., McMahon, K., Sarto,r L., Lovett, R., Guthrie, J.& Banks, E. (2017). Indigenous health program evaluation design and methods in Australia: a systematic review of the evidence. Australian Journal of Public Health, 41(5), 480-482.
MHAC. (2017), Building a strong community together. Retrieved from https://miwatj.com.au/dev/
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Smykowsky,A., &Williams,A. (2011).Improving communication with Indigenous people.Australian Nursing Journal, 19(3), 28-34.
Ward, R., Fredericks, B., & Best, O. (2018). Community Controlled Health Services: What They Are and How They Work. Australia: Cambridge University Press.
WHO.(2020). WHO definition of palliative care. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/cancer/palliative/definition/en/s
Yeung, S. (2016).Conceptualizing cultural safety: Definitions and applications of safety in health care for Indigenous mothers in Canada. Journal for Social Thought, 1(1), 1-13.
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