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Briefly describe your mental image of the man from the visualisation including his physical characteristics, lifestyle, and reason for admission to the Emergency Department. You will also upload your visualisation worksheet from class. The worksheet will not

be marked but will be available for tutors if they wish to review.

Analyse your personal bias, drawing on theory and literature. How was your mental image influenced by worldview, prior experiences and knowledge, and societal influences? Discuss the diversity of Aboriginal Peoples.

What are the consequences of bias for your ability to provide culturally safe and respectful nursing care for Aboriginal patients?

Close your eyes, breathe slowly and deeply.

Imagine a man, he is about 30 years old and he identifies as Aboriginal.

Give him a first name. If one doesn't immediately come to mind, don't worry, you can name him later.

Visualise his physical characteristics. How tall is he? Is he fit, thin, overweight or obese? What colour is his complexion? What colour are his eyes. Imagine his hair style? Does he have facial hair? Imagine what is he wearing?

Imagine his partner. Do they have children? How many?

Where do they live? Imagine their home.

Is he employed, unemployed, studying? If employed, what is his job?

What are his hobbies? What does he do for fun?

Open your eyes and complete part 1 of the table. Write exactly what you thought. Do not discuss your vision with others. There are no right or wrong answers.

Visualisation of the Aboriginal man and personal bias

Koen is a 30-year-old aboriginal male married to Riana who is 27 years old, and they both have three children, two boys and a girl. They live in the outback of the city, or what is popularly referred to us as the ghetto. Most times, Koen and his family prefer eating takeout food, mostly junk food, rather than making homemade food. Koen is dark-skinned, slightly tall and overweight, probably weigh 85kgs.  He has brown eyes, braided hair, a beard and moustache. Koen prefers casual dressing, that is jeans and leather jackets. Koen works at a construction site five days a week, and during the weekends, he prefers spending his time at a local bar, drinking with his friends. On this fateful day, Koen was dropped at the hospital where am registered as a nurse in the emergency department. Koen had a deep gash on his head and blood all over his face and shirt and looked disoriented. When I first saw him, the first thing that came to mind is that he had been involved in some criminal activities. I imagined that he was trying to pickpocket someone who fought back and hence the deep gush in the head.

After carefully analyzing my visual perception of Koen, I realized that my view is very biased since most of what I thought of is influenced by the general worldwide view of aboriginal people. Most people usually assume that all aboriginals are uneducated, poor, unemployed, live in poor backgrounds, lack complex laws and social organization, like drinking alcohol, are involved in violent and crimes (Nagle, et al 2016). They are also assumed to receive so much welfare and help from the government, eat the wrong foods hence obese or overweight, and do not work and are lazy. Additionally, every aboriginal is assumed to be dark-skinned and wide-nosed. I concluded that Koen was involved in pickpocketing when he came to the hospital because of his skin color and origin. My perception was wrong since it was biased and based on stereotypic assumptions based on no real facts. However, when after interacting with most of these people, one is likely to discover that most of the negative assumptions made against them are not true. Besides, most of the people who readily believe such stereotypes focus mainly on the negative aboriginal issues. The media and education system contribute a lot to the spread of such stereotypes and myth (Cao, 2014). This is because the larger part of the syllabus concentrates more on the negative history of the aboriginal people rather than the positive aspects.  For instance, the education system should concentrate on the sporting and educational achievements of aboriginal people.

Diversity of Aboriginal Peoples

Most aboriginal people normally link themselves with the geographic location they live in or the country they are born. For instance, most of them normally describe themselves as salty water people, if they are from the coast, or freshwater people is they live in that ecological environment. Most aboriginals have been living in Australia for more than fifty thousand years.  Their simple lifestyle has led people to assume that they lack diversity and does not maximize the use of their land, hence they are lazy (Graycar, 2013).  On the contrary, aboriginal people are among the most diverse people in the world. Their diversity has been illustrated in their paintings, stories, dances and different ceremonies. Also, they are divided into several hundred distinct languages, each having several dialects. The design in which they build their houses, the spears they used when hunting, and the various hunting styles they used also illustrated diversity.  Despite the common stereotypes that the aboriginals are lazy, history has illustrated that they have made many changes, even technological ones (Vincent, 2013). These changes can be seen in the method used in their paintings. Their styles have improved from ancient engravings to colorful x-ray art of the north and vivid hunting scenes of east and west.  The changes in their burial practices and rituals also show that they are religious.

Common stereotypes and myths about aboriginal people may affect their access to health care. Research has shown that such people usually have negative experiences with healthcare settings. For instance, they may be made to wait longer, have fewer referrals, and receive disrespectful treatment. Such actions by healthcare providers usually diminish and dis-power the cultural identity and well-being of aboriginal people, and this may be seen as a culturally risky practice. In the case of Koen, my assumption that he might have been involved in a criminal activity can make me be hesitant about helping him, maybe out of fear or despair. As a result, Koen might end up suffering more than it was intended (Ferdinand, Paradies, and Kelaher, 2013). Biased perception of aboriginals can have dire consequences, especially in a healthcare setting. Firstly, such treatment by health physicians can cause social and emotional harm to the aboriginal patient. No human being likes to be treated differently, especially based on mere assumptions. Secondly, the patient is more likely to lose trust in the health care system and turn to other forms of treatment. A hospital, or health care center is supposed to be a place that provides care and relief to any person, irrespective of their origin, age, or skin color. Therefore, when a person visits a hospital, and they are treated with such contempt, they will lose all confidence in such a system and go and seek help elsewhere. After being treated disrespectfully and loosing trust in healthcare systems, they may become ignorant of the services intended to improve their health (Moceri, 2014). Such services include screening for infectious or chronic diseases, and access to pharmaceutical interventions and required medicines. As a result, most of the aboriginal people may end up having diminished health and low life expectancy.

Consequences of bias for nursing care

It is evident that most aboriginal people face many social, political, and health-related challenges based on the worldwide stereotypes and myths about them. The general impacts of such discrimination has been there for many decades and felt by many generations, and it has caused wounds that cannot be mended quickly (Bombay, Matheson, and Anisman, 2014). If decades of trauma are to be healed, several systems such as health and justice, and people, in general, have to change their perceptions about aboriginals and treat them like everyone else. They should be able to access medical facilities and other social amenities and receive fair, and the recommended care just like any other citizen. People should learn about their diversity and embrace their unique cultural traditions, rather than judge them based on mere assumptions.

References

Nagle, N., Ballantyne, K.N., van Oven, M., Tyler?Smith, C., Xue, Y., Taylor, D., Wilcox, S.,

Wilcox, L., Turkalov, R., Van Oorschot, R.A. and McAllister, P., 2016. Antiquity and diversity of aboriginal Australian Y?chromosomes. American journal of physical anthropology, 159(3), pp.367-381.

Cao, L., 2014. Aboriginal people and confidence in the police. Canadian Journal of Criminology

and Criminal Justice, 56(5), pp.499-526.

Graycar, R., 2013. Gender, race, bias and perspective: OR how otherness colours your judgment.

In Women in the Judiciary (pp. 77-90). Routledge.DiGiacomo, M., Davidson, P.M., Abbott, P., Delaney, P., Dharmendra, T., McGrath, S.J., Delaney, J. and

Vincent, F., 2013. Childhood disability in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: a

literature review. International journal for equity in health, 12(1), p.7.

Ferdinand, A., Paradies, Y. and Kelaher, M., 2013. Mental health impacts of racial

discrimination in Victorian Aboriginal communities. Lowitja Institute.

Kuokkanen, R., 2015. Gendered Violence and Politics in Indigenous Communities: The Cases of

Aboriginal People in Canada and the Sámi in Scandinavia. International Feminist Journal of Politics, 17(2), pp.271-288.

Moceri, J.T., 2014. Hispanic nurses’ experiences of bias in the workplace. Journal of

Transcultural Nursing, 25(1), pp.15-22.

Fryberg, S.A., Troop-Gordon, W., D'arrisso, A., Flores, H., Ponizovskiy, V., Ranney, J.D.,

Mandour, T., Tootoosis, C., Robinson, S., Russo, N. and Burack, J.A., 2013. Cultural mismatch and the education of Aboriginal youths: The interplay of cultural identities and teacher ratings. Developmental psychology, 49(1), p.72.

Paradies, Y., Ben, J., Denson, N., Elias, A., Priest, N., Pieterse, A., Gupta, A., Kelaher, M. and

Gee, G., 2015. Racism as a determinant of health: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PloS one, 10(9), p.e0138511.

Bombay, A., Matheson, K. and Anisman, H., 2014. The intergenerational effects of Indian

Residential Schools: Implications for the concept of historical trauma. Transcultural psychiatry, 51(3), pp.320-338.

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