Considering the issues that Aboriginals have facing since colonisation, why did Dorothy choose not to see a Doctor?
There could be many reasons that Dorothy has been reluctant to attend her local clinic and chooses not to see a doctor. One of the reasons could be mistrust and fear because Aboriginal or Torre Strait Islander people don’t trust white doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals because of the colonisation (stolen generation). She also didn’t want to go to the local health service because she may feel the place was unfriendly, the staff was not friendly towards her. In addition, she is also passionate about her artwork, traveling and being around family and community.
It is important to be aware of any cultural bias that you have, as this enables you to overcome these biases.
Prior to the commencement of this subject, what was your understanding of the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander culture?
Before commencing this subject, I did have a good knowledge about the indigenous history, health issues, and culture because I have few subjects about Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander in my previous study. Now, I have a good understanding of their history and culture. I am really interested to do my future placements with Aboriginal or Torre Strait Islander people in the remote areas.
Do you believe that you have a cultural bias?
I do not think I have a cultural bias. I may judge someone’s culture if I do not have knowledge and information about them. But I am always curious to learn and understand other people’s culture and respect them in every way possible. Though, I have been judged a lot by other people around me. I have been asked so many times by people why I dressed up differently. Instead of getting upset, I always try to explain my culture and reasons to them because they don’t know my culture.
How does your culture different from Dorothy’s culture? If you are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander ?culture, how does your culture different from non-Aboriginal culture?
I have been grown up in Afghan culture where family, hospitality, tradition, compassion, communication styles are important in my culture. In my culture, the elderlies either man or woman should be respected by the younger people. It is important for the younger people to stand when the elderly entering a room, either it could party or family gathering. They expect young people to kiss their hands because it is a sign of respect. They elderly give them kiss to on the young people’s foreheads. In addition, the younger people also are not allowed to make a direct eye contact to them because it is a sign of disrespect and rudeness.
What strategies will you use to show respect to Dorothy?
We should also need to use a good communication strategy act culturally appropriate with Dorothy, for example, Dorothy might not feel comfortable if a men nurse or doctor come and assist her, so we need to ask a female nurse or doctor to support with her treatment while she is in the hospital.
As a nurse, we should introduce ourselves warmly to Dorothy.
We have to make sure that we are actively listening to her.
Avoid direct eye contact with Dorothy, maybe she feels uncomfortable.
Give some personal space for Dorothy; standing too close to her might make her uncomfortable or threatened.
We can ask about her culture, trips, and artwork and engaged her while talking to her.
What strategies will you use to ensure that Dorothy feels culturally safe?
We can create a friendly environment for Dorothy that she feels comfortable and secure by displaying Torre Strait Islander or Aboriginal artwork, signage and flags in the hospital, which help her relaxed and connected. Because the flag and artwork in the hospital and other healthcare places can give Dorothy a sense of welcoming, and a place that she can enter without any discomfort.
We should not use medical any terminology or jargon while communicating with Dorothy.
We can always ask for feedback in regards to the services that we provide for Dorothy.
We should make sure to call her by her proffered name (aunty or sister) if she feels comfortable.
We always have to ask for consent if we need to touch a Dorothy for clinical reasons, explain why it is being done.
What strategies can be used to engage Aboriginal people in the planning and delivery of services and ?programs?
The hospital or health care providers should hire the Indigenous and Torre Strait Islander or Torre Strait Islander nurses, doctors, Aboriginal Liaison Officer and other health professionals in the hospital.
The health care providers should offer cultural safety training and cultural awareness education for staff members to improve their quality of services and programs delivered for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Displaying Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander artwork and flags in the hospital.
Inviting Aboriginal or Torre Strait Islander to come and share their stories
Involving aboriginal or Torre Strait Islander elderly in the planning and delivery of the services and programs.
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