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Nursing: New Zealand Journal Of Public Health

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Discuss about the Nursing for New Zealand Journal of Public Health.




I believe in providing the best quality care to patients that not only helps in providing them better quality life but also enhances their healthcare experiences. I believe in providing empathetic and compassionate person centred care for the patients putting them in the central position of communication and decision-making. However, I had very little knowledge about the cultural significance of their tradition, preferences and their inhibition. I used to believe that since they are the natives of Australia, they should be following the western cultures and traditions. However, after going through the unit module on the Aboriginals, I had come to know a large number of information about different cultural preferences of the aboriginals. It has saved me from providing culturally incompetent care of such a patient if such a patient would have visited me in the future. The most heartening fact that I have learnt from the unit so that how they were treated in the period of colonisation. I have understood that such poor treatment over numerous centuries had resulted them in poor health in the present generation. They had been exploited mentally, emotionally, physically as well as financially and the gap in health status of the indigenous and non-indigenous people is the result of colonisation effects only. I knew not all these and therefore this module helped me to gather deep amount of knowledge on them. The entire module has helped me to learn the proper ways by which I can provide culturally competent practice to the aboriginals in the future.


I was quite overwhelmed after going through the unit module of the aboriginals, as I did not have any idea about the cultural traditions of the native people initially. I was happy that I got the opportunity to develop myself an expert nurse who could provide culturally competent care to the aboriginals. Not only about the cultural significance and about associated data, I also felt quite shaken by the racism that they are facing over the years even after the Europeans had left their lands and regions. I was quite shocked by the fact that it was the humans who treated the other human beings in an inhumanly manner.  They also demoted them to the level of flora and fauna. At one time, they were included in the flora and fauna act and this helped me to understand to what extent they have been humiliated and tortured. All these resulted in development of feeling of the necessity of treating such individuals with empathy and compassion so that they can overcome the pain they had been suffering for long and can trust us for serving them with culturally competent care that helped to maintain their dignity and autonomy.


The unit module on the aboriginals had helped me largely in developing minute facts that would help me to provide a culturally competent service to the aboriginals. They are very particular about their cultural norms and rules and felt severely disheartened if disrespected or ill-treated (Freeman et al., 2014). Over the year, the exploitation they have faced had made them negative about the sterner and therefore they cannot rely on the western mode of education. They have deep rooted feeling that western healthcare professionals would never be able to align or respect their culture and therefore they tend to keep themselves away from western healthcare education (Lin et al., 2017). The unit module has helped us to understand how different policies and health promotion campaigns had helped them to develop trust on the western healthcare. Therefore, culturally incompetent practice from my side may result in huge loss of the effort as they may gain withdraw from the forward steps that had taken towards their health development and gaining health literacy (McCough, Wynaden & Wright, 2018). The module has helped me to develop knowledge about the prerequisites for ensuring the different sustainable and even the effective transformational changes within the healthcare system whereby different cultural strategies are embedded within the process and policies. Some of the ethical principles that I have studied in the course are the aboriginal Self-determination (Durey et al., 2017). I also learnt about the importance of reciprocity, accountability and effective modes of communication preferred in their cultures. These would help me to develop cultural awareness and patients would be highly satisfied.



The module has helped me to learn some of the important aspects that I need to keep in mind while caring for the patients who are from culturally diverse background. I had been able to understand the basis difference between their cultural and western culture that I need to apply while preparing for intervention. This can be analysed with the help of several examples. One of the most important aspects of providing them culturally competent practice is exhibiting proper nonverbal communication skills that do not affect their cultural norms (Irving et al., 2017). The culture of the native people does not allow them to engage in direct eye contact unlike the westerners who believe eye contact is important to show oneself as confident and make the opposite person believe on them. The native people do not prefer direct questions from strangers and therefore as a professional, I should always engage in indirect questioning in order to gather knowledge about their lifestyles. Moreover, the unit had provided extra importance to develop informal relationship and bonding with them before starting interviewing or asking them any questions (Hole et al., 2015). Researchers are of the opinion that rapport building helps in establishing trust on the healthcare professionals and therefore the aboriginals can comply or adhere with the interventions. Therefore, in similar ways, the module has helped me to develop my cultural competency and mane me prepared for future challenges (Durey et al.,  2017).


The entire module has helped me to develop cultural awareness about the traditions, preferences and inhibitions of the native people. I had already learnt before that in order to ensure high patient satisfaction, person centred care is needed. One of the important attribute of this is to keep the patient in the centre of decision making and communicating with him in ways by which he feels respected and cared for (Hole et al., 2015). Similarly, in case of the native persons also, I will try to put them in the centre of the care and decision-making and provide interventions for them in a culturally competent manner so that they feel respected and adhered to the care plans. This would help me to contribute to the meeting of the gaps in the health inequality between the natives and non-natives helping them to live better quality lives.

Action Plan:

The NMBA codes of ethics instruct nurses to provide culturally competent care to all people irrespective of their ethnicity, social economic background, culture, castes and others (Jongen et al., 2018). Therefore, I will try to provide care based on the standards of code of ethics. Justice is one of the most important ethical principles and by following this module, I will be able to integrate justice while caring for native people. I will develop therapeutic relationship with the patients so that they can rely on me. Moreover, the module has helped me to develop cultural sensitivity and cultural awareness that would not only help me to treat native people but also integrated principles that would help me to care patients from wide variety of backgrounds (Wain et al., 2016).



Durey, A., Halkett, G., Berg, M., Lester, L., & Kickett, M. (2017). Does one workshop on respecting cultural differences increase health professionals’ confidence to improve the care of Australian Aboriginal patients with cancer? An evaluation. BMC health services research, 17(1), 660.

Freeman, T., Edwards, T., Baum, F., Lawless, A., Jolley, G., Javanparast, S., & Francis, T. (2014). Cultural respect strategies in Australian Aboriginal primary health care services: beyond education and training of practitioners. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, 38(4), 355-361.

Hole, R. D., Evans, M., Berg, L. D., Bottorff, J. L., Dingwall, C., Alexis, C., ... & Smith, M. L. (2015). Visibility and voice: Aboriginal people experience culturally safe and unsafe health care. Qualitative health research, 25(12), 1662-1674.

Irving, M., Gwynne, K., Angell, B., Tennant, M., & Blinkhorn, A. (2017). Client perspectives on an Aboriginal community led oral health service in rural Australia. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 25(3), 163-168.

Jongen, C., McCalman, J., Bainbridge, R., & Clifford, A. (2018). Health Organisation and System Cultural Competence Interventions. In Cultural Competence in Health (pp. 99-113). Springer, Singapore.

Lin, I. B., Ryder, K., Coffin, J., Green, C., Dalgety, E., Scott, B., ... & O’Sullivan, P. B. (2017). Addressing disparities in low back pain care by developing culturally appropriate information for aboriginal australians:“My Back on Track, My Future”. Pain Medicine, 18(11), 2070-2080.

McGough, S., Wynaden, D., & Wright, M. (2018). Experience of providing cultural safety in mental health to Aboriginal patients: A grounded theory study. International journal of mental health nursing, 27(1), 204-213.

Wain, T., Sim, M., Bessarab, D., Mak, D., Hayward, C., & Rudd, C. (2016). Engaging Australian Aboriginal narratives to challenge attitudes and create empathy in health care: a methodological perspective. BMC medical education, 16(1), 156.




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