Assessment 2 summary answer

Assessment two summary

 

Value            40 %

Length:         1200  words (excluding  references)

Purpose:      Cultural Safety position statement

The purpose of this assessment to assist you to develop understanding of the importance of cultural safety in your own workplace and to allow you to demonstrate your understanding of the role of cultural safety in contributing towards improving health outcomes. Your position statement should be directed at the organisation’s target audience (patients/clients)

There are many factors that influence health professionals, who work within health organisations. These factors will influence how an organisation interacts with the target population or client base. Organisations should clearly present a point of view or a position on an issue, and this is often communicated via tools like; mission statements, vision statements and position statements. A position statement should express an organisations view or stance on an issue; it should be a summary of a particular issue that is relevant to the organisation; it should reflect the current evidence or best practice and the intended audience should be all external stakeholders, especially clients or consumers
The purpose of this assessment to assist you to develop understanding of the importance of cultural safety in your  own (*health related ) workplace and to allow you  to demonstrate your  understanding of the role of cultural safety in contributing towards improving health outcomes. Your position statement should address the organisation’s target audience (patients/clients)

Instructions    

There are two parts to this assessment

Part 1

Select one of the organisation’s listed below and prepare a Cultural Safety position statement with that outlines the importance of providing effective health communication and health literacy as part of your organisation’s overall strategy to deliver Culturally Safe health.

  • You should provide a short summary on the organisation’s background
  • Your position statement should contain concise and evidence-based statements that are relevant to cultural safety, health literacy and effective communication

For the purposes of this assessment the term position statement is defined as

a range of evidenced-based statements to communicate an organisation’s position on key issues of relevance to achieving a healthy Australia, supported by the best possible health system.

Referencing should be as required, however you must reference your organisation (ie when presenting the background information )

Your statement should clearly demonstrate your organisations position on providing culturally safe care, addressing health literacy and ensure effective communication

Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation Royal Darwin Hospital
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS) -Brisbane Townsville Hospital and Health service
BulgarrNgaru Medical Aboriginal  Corporation Lismore Base Hospital
Family Planning  Victoria Monash medical Centre/Monash Health
South Australian Ambulance Service Royal Adelaide Hospital  (RAH)
DerbarlYerrigan Health Service Inc. Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
Aboriginal Health Service Devonport – Tulaminakali West Coast District Hospital at Queenstown
WinnungaNimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services (WNAHCS) Marie Stopes Canberra

*Important: You must choose one of the organisations listed above, failure to do so will result in an automatic failure for this assessment

Part 2 –This must relate to part 1 

A written document outlining the rationale underpinning your position statement and you should link your responses with your selected  organisation’s  position statement. This should include the following:

  • Why having such a statement important for providing a Culturally Safe health environment
  • Explain the relationship between health literacy and health communication in supporting the provision of Culturally  Safe care within your chosen organisation
  • The external influences (for example historical and contemporary factors ) that may contribute or detract from Culturally Safe practice in your chosen organisation
  • How might this contribute to improving the health outcomes of the organisation’s target clients
  • What are the barriers, to implementing this position statement, that might exist within the organisation?
  • Support your comments with reference to the academic literature, at least 10 refereed publications published between 2010-2020.

 

Submission Instructions 

  • Include the assessment submission file name in the footer of your assessments,
  • The use of tables and graphics is not permitted
  • Assessment Format Verdanaor Arial size 12 font , 1.5 line spacing.
  • Submit the Assessment, (via Learnline) as one document:  Microsoft Word Document (doc or docx). with filed named as follows: family name, first name, student number, HSC 230 Assessment  2
  • References written according to APA Style Version 7. Used and consistently applied the APA 7th referencing system.

Please find below an example of a past assessment ( please note that the assessment task has changed since this sample was completed)

Sample assessment

MIWATJ HEALTH ABORIGINAL CORPORATION – CULTURAL SAFETY POSITION STATEMENT

Background/ Introduction

Mitwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation [MHAC] is a non-government health organisation established in 1992 to provide Aboriginal-controlled and highly skilled healthcare services for Aboriginal communities who live in remote areas across East Arnhem Land. The establishment of the organisation located in Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory, was recommended by the National Aboriginal Health Strategy and was strongly supported by the Miwatj Regional Council. While delivering good-quality acute and preventive health care services in its fixed clinics, the organisation also offers mobile health services that regularly visit nearby areas to ensure that the healthcare needs of those remote communities are also addressed (Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation [MHAC], n.d.).

As an Aboriginal-controlled health corporation, we strongly believe that through Aboriginal empowerment and provision of culturally safe health services, we are able to make a great impact on closing the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. Our purpose is to apply the cultural respect and cultural safety frameworks to promote a holistic, community-centred healthcare approach which supports Aboriginal communities to take on their full control of their health and wellbeing.

Understanding a crucial role of cultural leadership and connection to land and communities in Aboriginal worldviews of health, we recognise that cultural safety is a key factor to ensure appropriateness, availability, affordability and accessibility of the Aboriginal health services (Ware, 2013). Our strategic plan includes devolution of power in Aboriginal healthcare to the Aboriginal communities, fostering Aboriginal selfdetermination and empowerment and delivering culturally appropriate health services that address Aboriginal specific health needs. We prioritise establishment of therapeutic relationships and trust and collaboration with Sample assessment the Aboriginal communities to increase patients’ satisfactory and improve Aboriginal health literacy and communication in health care. Furthermore, we acknowledge cultural diversity and impacts of cultural and social determinants on Aboriginal health outcomes and therefore aim to eradicate racism and discrimination in healthcare sector.

Our position

The MHAC:

  • Promotes the holistic approach in health care that takes into consideration not only the individual’s health but also the whole communities’ health (Willis & Elmer, 2011)

  • Recognises and minimises the power differentials in healthcare relationships (Lupton, 2012) • Supports self-determination and empowerment of the Aboriginal communities

  • Believes that health professionals’ self-reflection and regular evaluation of service delivery help them to effectively identify and be aware of internal and external influences of healthcare practices (Curtis et al., 2019)

  • Affirms that building rapport and trust relationships with the Aboriginal communities is essential to understand cultural diversity and engage the Aboriginal communities to contribute to the decisionmaking processes in healthcare (Gomersall et al., 2017)

  • Acknowledges cultural and socioeconomic differences and promotes cultural respect and cultural safety in healthcare

  • Ensures that effective communication is always present to deliver health messages in culturally safe and appropriate manner

  • Encourages development of comprehensive health literacy to improve communication and healthcare effectiveness

  • Opposes racism and discrimination and promotes health equity and fairness in healthcare services

Rationale

The provision of culturally safe healthcare which is respectful, supportive, inclusive and patient-centred, is currently a worldwide concern in healthcare practices due to the population diversity (Curtis et al., 2019). This concept of cultural safety demands more attention in Australia healthcare services where there is an urgent need to close the health gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. To address this issue, MHAC has designed a cultural safety position statement to reinforce implementation of cultural safety in healthcare services. This rationale will justify the significance of the MHAC cultural safety position statement and assess the impacts of effective communication, health literacy and external influences on the provision of culturally safe healthcare services. Finally, the rationale will examine the effects of the organisation’s position statement on the target clients’ health, identify barriers that prevent the effective implementation of the statement and suggest strategies to overcome the problems.

The MHAC cultural safety position statement plays a pivotal role in fostering culturally safe health environments. The statement clearly demonstrates MHAC’s stance and arguable viewpoints in reinforcing cultural safety with supporting evidence and best practices. It supports Aboriginal fundamental right to involve in research, planning, implementation and evaluation of Aboriginal healthcare services as stated in the World Health Organisation’s Alma Ata Declaration (World Health Organisation [WHO], 1978). In addition, it acts as a guideline and sets out standards for health professionals to ensure high-quality and culturally safe healthcare which involves cultural awareness, cultural respect, cultural competence, cultural sensitivity and cultural security (Curtis et al., 2019). Consequently, the statement addresses health inequities, injustices and institutional racism to support decolonisation and empowerment of Aboriginal communities’ participation on their health and their own lives. It respects cultural diversity and emphasises on the holistic and community-based healthcare approach, inclusion and collaboration to strive for the goal of closing the health gap (Gomersall et al., 2017).

Effective communication is a core clinical skill that greatly contributes to cultural safety in the linguistically and culturally diverse MHAC healthcare environments. It not only improves the Aboriginal communities’ health outcomes due to the minimisation of incorrections but also increases the patients’ satisfactory and compliance to the health services (Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care [ACSQHC], 2016). The inclusion of cultural awareness and self-reflection helps MHAC to achieve a successful two-way exchange of clearly understandable, adequate and accurate information with empathy, trust and equality between the stakeholders, to reach an agreement despite differences of their worldviews and lived experiences (Shahid et al., 2013). Due to its contributions in preventing misinterpreting of health issues and increasing the accessibility and cultural appropriateness of the health service, effective communication therefore strengthens Aboriginal self-determination and enhances their control over their health (Amery, 2017).

Furthermore, effective communication also forms an interrelated relationship with health literacy that reduces miscommunication and promotes power balance in healthcare (Ratna, 2019). While effective health communication is a successful process of transferring and receiving health messages across the stakeholders, health literacy refers to a set of knowledge, skills, competencies and motivation of an individual that assists them to gain their health knowledge and make informed and educated decisions about health and health care (ACSQHC, 2014; Vass et al., 2011). Hence, high level of health literacy contributes to the MHAC’s effective health communication as the stakeholders understand, engage in the decision-making processes and utilise health messages to improve their quality of life (Lowell et al., 2014). Similarly, effective communication allows the organisation to recognise and help solve the conflict between health perspectives and worldviews of Aboriginal cultures which focuses on the holistic health and Anglo-Australian healthcare which adheres to biomedical model of health. (Vass et al., 2011). Hence, the absence of either effective communication or comprehensive health literacy in the statement will negatively affect the other factor and impede the organisation to provide culturally safe healthcare (Lowell et al., 2014).

 Another impediment to cultural safety in Aboriginal healthcare is the external influences such as media. Nairn et al. (2014) have suggested that humans live in media-saturated societies which significantly shape our knowledge, behaviours, worldviews and practices. Despite the advantages that the media in healthcare system such as networking, health education, patient care, organisational health promotion and public health programs, its disadvantages outweigh the benefits, especially in the healthcare for Aboriginal peoples (Pentescu, 2015). Firstly, the abundance of unreliable health resources which are created with different purposes, puts its consumers at high risk of obtaining incorrect and biased health information and damaging their physical health (Ventola, 2014). Secondly, the false information about specific groups of peoples offered by the media further leads to discrimination and racism within the healthcare sector as they not only promote the superiority of dominant culture but also devalue the minority populations (Awofeso, 2011). Thirdly, sharing health information on the media may cause the breach the clients’ confidentiality (Ventola, 2014). Ultimately, the statement helps both the healthcare workers and the clients to be aware of and be able to minimise the negative influences of the external factors on their health and healthcare practices.

Recognising the crucial roles of effective communication, health literacy and external influences on the clients’ health, MHAC successfully plans the cultural safety position statement that clearly identifies the organisation’s standards governing clinical quality and professionalism and evidencebased strategies to reinforce cultural respect and cultural safety (Laverty et al., 2017). The statement highlights the need for cultural awareness, cultural respect, cultural competencies and cultural security in order to achieve cultural safety (Curtis et al., 2019). It identifies the power differentials and racism in healthcare and requires the healthcare professionals to self-reflect and evaluate to acknowledge and limit the impediments to culturally safe healthcare practices. Following that, the statement emphasises on the need for inclusion and collaboration with the Aboriginal communities and aims to foster Aboriginal self-determination which empowers them to involve and control their health and healthcare (Durey et al., 2016). As a result, the statement improves healthcare quality that addresses Aboriginal holistic health, and strengthens their rights of independence, equality and indulging equitable health.

Despite the statement’s benefits, its effectiveness is still limited because of the lack of resources, cultural knowledge and competencies to achieve the statement’s requirements. Due to the poverty in the remote areas, more funding is needed in order for the MHAC to adequately access to Aboriginal Interpreter Services, maintain good-quality healthcare services and help improve social determinants of health of the clients (Davy et al., 2016). Moreover, hiring more local health workers from the Aboriginal is an effective approach that not only lowers the local unemployment rate but also allows the organisation to understand more about the Aboriginal communities and create a more welcoming healthcare environment (Jongen et al., 2019). Finally, professional development programs further ensure the enhancement of the healthcare professionals’ knowledge and skills to work more effectively in partnership with the Aboriginal communities to achieve the best health outcomes (Durey& Thompson, 2012).

In conclusion, the rationale explicitly demonstrates the importance of the MHAC cultural safety position statement in enhancing effective communication and health literacy, eliminating negative influences on healthcare practices and promoting cultural safety and empowerment of the Aboriginal communities in the organisation’s healthcare. It also briefly provides few suggestions to overcome the challenges when implementing the statement. However, besides the ones mentioned, the organisation also faces many other difficulties. Henceforth, further exploration is required to present other barriers and discuss in-depth the strategies to ensure the full effectiveness of the statement in closing the health gap.

References

Amery, R. (2017). Recognising the communication gap in Indigenous health care. The Medical Journal of Australia, 207 (1), 13-15. http://doi.org.10.5694/mja17.00042

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care [ACSQHC]. (2016). Patient-clinician communication in hospitals: Communicating for safety at transitions of care. https://tinyurl.com/y78tmlho

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care [ACSQHC]. (2014). Health literacy: Taking action to improve safety and quality. https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/sites/default/files/migrated/H ealth-Literacy-Taking-action-to-improve-safety-and-quality.pdf

Awofeso, N. (2011). Racism: a major impediment to optimal Indigenous health and health care in Australia. Australian Indigenous Health Bulletin, 11 (3), 1-14. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/30680903.pdf

Curtis, E., Jones, R., Tipene-Leach, D., Walker, C., Loring, B., Paine, S., & Reid, P. (2019). Why cultural safety rather than cultural competency is required to achieve health equity: a literature review and recommended definition. International Journal for Equity in Health, 18 (174), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-019-1082- 3

Durey, A., & Thompson, S. C. (2012). Reducing the health disparities of Indigenous Australians: time to change focus. BMC Health Services Research, 12 (151), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-12- 151

Durey, A., McEvoy, S., Swift-Otero, V., Taylor, K., Katzenellenbogen, & J., Bessarab (2016). Improving healthcare for Aboriginal Australians through effective engagement between community and health services. BMC Health Services Research, 16 (224), 1-13. http://doi.org.10.1186/s12913-016-1497-0

Gomersall, J. S., Gibson, O., Dwyer, J., O’Donnell, K., Stephenson, M., Carter, D., Canuto, K., Munn, Z., Aromataris, E., & Brown, A. (2017). What Indigenous Australian clients value about primary health care: a systematic review of qualitative evidence. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 41 (4), 417-423. http://doi.org.10.1111/1753-6405.12687

Jongen, C., McCalma, J., Campbell, S., & Fagan, R. (2019). Working well: Strategies to strengthen the workforce of the Indigenous primary healthcare sector. BMC Health Services Research, 19 (910), 1-12. http://doi.org.10.1186/s12913-019-4750-5

 Laverty, M., McDermott, D. R., &Calma, T. (2017). Embedding cultural safety in Australia’s main health care standards. The Medical Journal of Australia, 207 (1), 15-16. http://doi.org.10.5694/mja17.00328

Lowell, A., Schmitt, D., Chin, W. A., & Connors, C. M. (2015). Provider health literacy, communication and cultural competence: towards an integrated approach in the Northern Territory. http://doi.org.10.13140/RG.2.1.3690.0324

 Lupton, D. (2012). Power relations and the medical encounter. In D. Lupton (Ed.), Medicine as culture: Illness, disease and the body (3rd ed., pp. 203-237). London: SAGE Publications.

Mitwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation. (n.d.). Introduction to Mitwatj health. http://miwatj.com.au/dev/introduction/

Nairn, R., DeSouza, R., Barnes, A. M., Rankine, J., Borell, B., &McCreanor, T. (2014). Nursing in media-saturated societies: implications for cultural safety in nursing practice in Aotearoa New Zealand. Journal of Research in Nursing, 19 (6), 477-487. https://doi.org/10.1177/1744987114546724

Pentescu, A., Cetina, I., &Orzan, G. (2015). Social media’s impact on healthcare services. Procedia Economics and Finance, 27 (1), 646- 651. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2212-5671(15)01044-8

Ratna, H. (2019). The importance of effective communication in healthcare practice. Harvard Public Health Review, 23 (1), 1-16. http://harvardpublichealthreview.org/healthcommunication/

Shahid, S., Durey, A., Bessarab, D., Aoun, S. M., & Thompson, S. C. (2013). Identifying barriers and improving communication between cancer service providers and Aboriginal patients and their families: the perspective of service providers. BMC Health Services Research, 13 (460), 1-13. http://doi.org.10.1186/1472-6963-13-460

Vass, A., Mitchell, A., &Dhurrkay, Y. (2011). Health literacy and Australian Indigenous peoples: an analysis of the role of language and worldview. Health Promotion Journal of Australia: official journal of Australian Association of Health Promotion Professionals, 22 (1), 33-37. http://doi.org/10.1071/he11033

Ventola, C. L. (2014). Social media and health care professionals: Benefits, risks, and best practices. Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 39 (7), 491-499. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103576/#b12- ptj3907491

Ware, V. A. (2013). Improving the accessibility of health services in urban and regional settings for Indigenous people. Australian Government. http://dro.deakin.edu.au/eserv/DU:30069870/wareimprovingtheaccessibility-2013.pdf

Willis, K., & Elmer, S. (2011). Society, culture and health: An introduction to sociology for nurses (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.

World Health Organisation [WHO]. (1978). Declaration of Alma-Ata. https://www.who.int/publications/almaata_declaration_en.pdf?ua= 1

Assessment two summary

 

Value            40 %

Length:         1200  words (excluding  references)

Purpose:      Cultural Safety position statement

The purpose of this assessment to assist you to develop understanding of the importance of cultural safety in your own workplace and to allow you to demonstrate your understanding of the role of cultural safety in contributing towards improving health outcomes. Your position statement should be directed at the organisation’s target audience (patients/clients)

There are many factors that influence health professionals, who work within health organisations. These factors will influence how an organisation interacts with the target population or client base. Organisations should clearly present a point of view or a position on an issue, and this is often communicated via tools like; mission statements, vision statements and position statements. A position statement should express an organisations view or stance on an issue; it should be a summary of a particular issue that is relevant to the organisation; it should reflect the current evidence or best practice and the intended audience should be all external stakeholders, especially clients or consumers
The purpose of this assessment to assist you to develop understanding of the importance of cultural safety in your  own (*health related ) workplace and to allow you  to demonstrate your  understanding of the role of cultural safety in contributing towards improving health outcomes. Your position statement should address the organisation’s target audience (patients/clients)

Instructions    

There are two parts to this assessment

Part 1

Select one of the organisation’s listed below and prepare a Cultural Safety position statement with that outlines the importance of providing effective health communication and health literacy as part of your organisation’s overall strategy to deliver Culturally Safe health.

  • You should provide a short summary on the organisation’s background
  • Your position statement should contain concise and evidence-based statements that are relevant to cultural safety, health literacy and effective communication

For the purposes of this assessment the term position statement is defined as

a range of evidenced-based statements to communicate an organisation’s position on key issues of relevance to achieving a healthy Australia, supported by the best possible health system.

Referencing should be as required, however you must reference your organisation (ie when presenting the background information )

Your statement should clearly demonstrate your organisations position on providing culturally safe care, addressing health literacy and ensure effective communication

Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation Royal Darwin Hospital
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS) -Brisbane Townsville Hospital and Health service
BulgarrNgaru Medical Aboriginal  Corporation Lismore Base Hospital
Family Planning  Victoria Monash medical Centre/Monash Health
South Australian Ambulance Service Royal Adelaide Hospital  (RAH)
DerbarlYerrigan Health Service Inc. Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
Aboriginal Health Service Devonport – Tulaminakali West Coast District Hospital at Queenstown
WinnungaNimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services (WNAHCS) Marie Stopes Canberra

*Important: You must choose one of the organisations listed above, failure to do so will result in an automatic failure for this assessment

Part 2 –This must relate to part 1 

A written document outlining the rationale underpinning your position statement and you should link your responses with your selected  organisation’s  position statement. This should include the following:

  • Why having such a statement important for providing a Culturally Safe health environment
  • Explain the relationship between health literacy and health communication in supporting the provision of Culturally  Safe care within your chosen organisation
  • The external influences (for example historical and contemporary factors ) that may contribute or detract from Culturally Safe practice in your chosen organisation
  • How might this contribute to improving the health outcomes of the organisation’s target clients
  • What are the barriers, to implementing this position statement, that might exist within the organisation?
  • Support your comments with reference to the academic literature, at least 10 refereed publications published between 2010-2020.

 

Submission Instructions 

  • Include the assessment submission file name in the footer of your assessments,
  • The use of tables and graphics is not permitted
  • Assessment Format Verdanaor Arial size 12 font , 1.5 line spacing.
  • Submit the Assessment, (via Learnline) as one document:  Microsoft Word Document (doc or docx). with filed named as follows: family name, first name, student number, HSC 230 Assessment  2
  • References written according to APA Style Version 7. Used and consistently applied the APA 7th referencing system.

Please find below an example of a past assessment ( please note that the assessment task has changed since this sample was completed)

Sample assessment

MIWATJ HEALTH ABORIGINAL CORPORATION – CULTURAL SAFETY POSITION STATEMENT

Background/ Introduction

Mitwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation [MHAC] is a non-government health organisation established in 1992 to provide Aboriginal-controlled and highly skilled healthcare services for Aboriginal communities who live in remote areas across East Arnhem Land. The establishment of the organisation located in Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory, was recommended by the National Aboriginal Health Strategy and was strongly supported by the Miwatj Regional Council. While delivering good-quality acute and preventive health care services in its fixed clinics, the organisation also offers mobile health services that regularly visit nearby areas to ensure that the healthcare needs of those remote communities are also addressed (Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation [MHAC], n.d.).

As an Aboriginal-controlled health corporation, we strongly believe that through Aboriginal empowerment and provision of culturally safe health services, we are able to make a great impact on closing the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. Our purpose is to apply the cultural respect and cultural safety frameworks to promote a holistic, community-centred healthcare approach which supports Aboriginal communities to take on their full control of their health and wellbeing.

Understanding a crucial role of cultural leadership and connection to land and communities in Aboriginal worldviews of health, we recognise that cultural safety is a key factor to ensure appropriateness, availability, affordability and accessibility of the Aboriginal health services (Ware, 2013). Our strategic plan includes devolution of power in Aboriginal healthcare to the Aboriginal communities, fostering Aboriginal selfdetermination and empowerment and delivering culturally appropriate health services that address Aboriginal specific health needs. We prioritise establishment of therapeutic relationships and trust and collaboration with Sample assessment the Aboriginal communities to increase patients’ satisfactory and improve Aboriginal health literacy and communication in health care. Furthermore, we acknowledge cultural diversity and impacts of cultural and social determinants on Aboriginal health outcomes and therefore aim to eradicate racism and discrimination in healthcare sector.

Our position

The MHAC:

  • Promotes the holistic approach in health care that takes into consideration not only the individual’s health but also the whole communities’ health (Willis & Elmer, 2011)

  • Recognises and minimises the power differentials in healthcare relationships (Lupton, 2012) • Supports self-determination and empowerment of the Aboriginal communities

  • Believes that health professionals’ self-reflection and regular evaluation of service delivery help them to effectively identify and be aware of internal and external influences of healthcare practices (Curtis et al., 2019)

  • Affirms that building rapport and trust relationships with the Aboriginal communities is essential to understand cultural diversity and engage the Aboriginal communities to contribute to the decisionmaking processes in healthcare (Gomersall et al., 2017)

  • Acknowledges cultural and socioeconomic differences and promotes cultural respect and cultural safety in healthcare

  • Ensures that effective communication is always present to deliver health messages in culturally safe and appropriate manner

  • Encourages development of comprehensive health literacy to improve communication and healthcare effectiveness

  • Opposes racism and discrimination and promotes health equity and fairness in healthcare services

Rationale

The provision of culturally safe healthcare which is respectful, supportive, inclusive and patient-centred, is currently a worldwide concern in healthcare practices due to the population diversity (Curtis et al., 2019). This concept of cultural safety demands more attention in Australia healthcare services where there is an urgent need to close the health gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. To address this issue, MHAC has designed a cultural safety position statement to reinforce implementation of cultural safety in healthcare services. This rationale will justify the significance of the MHAC cultural safety position statement and assess the impacts of effective communication, health literacy and external influences on the provision of culturally safe healthcare services. Finally, the rationale will examine the effects of the organisation’s position statement on the target clients’ health, identify barriers that prevent the effective implementation of the statement and suggest strategies to overcome the problems.

The MHAC cultural safety position statement plays a pivotal role in fostering culturally safe health environments. The statement clearly demonstrates MHAC’s stance and arguable viewpoints in reinforcing cultural safety with supporting evidence and best practices. It supports Aboriginal fundamental right to involve in research, planning, implementation and evaluation of Aboriginal healthcare services as stated in the World Health Organisation’s Alma Ata Declaration (World Health Organisation [WHO], 1978). In addition, it acts as a guideline and sets out standards for health professionals to ensure high-quality and culturally safe healthcare which involves cultural awareness, cultural respect, cultural competence, cultural sensitivity and cultural security (Curtis et al., 2019). Consequently, the statement addresses health inequities, injustices and institutional racism to support decolonisation and empowerment of Aboriginal communities’ participation on their health and their own lives. It respects cultural diversity and emphasises on the holistic and community-based healthcare approach, inclusion and collaboration to strive for the goal of closing the health gap (Gomersall et al., 2017).

Effective communication is a core clinical skill that greatly contributes to cultural safety in the linguistically and culturally diverse MHAC healthcare environments. It not only improves the Aboriginal communities’ health outcomes due to the minimisation of incorrections but also increases the patients’ satisfactory and compliance to the health services (Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care [ACSQHC], 2016). The inclusion of cultural awareness and self-reflection helps MHAC to achieve a successful two-way exchange of clearly understandable, adequate and accurate information with empathy, trust and equality between the stakeholders, to reach an agreement despite differences of their worldviews and lived experiences (Shahid et al., 2013). Due to its contributions in preventing misinterpreting of health issues and increasing the accessibility and cultural appropriateness of the health service, effective communication therefore strengthens Aboriginal self-determination and enhances their control over their health (Amery, 2017).

Furthermore, effective communication also forms an interrelated relationship with health literacy that reduces miscommunication and promotes power balance in healthcare (Ratna, 2019). While effective health communication is a successful process of transferring and receiving health messages across the stakeholders, health literacy refers to a set of knowledge, skills, competencies and motivation of an individual that assists them to gain their health knowledge and make informed and educated decisions about health and health care (ACSQHC, 2014; Vass et al., 2011). Hence, high level of health literacy contributes to the MHAC’s effective health communication as the stakeholders understand, engage in the decision-making processes and utilise health messages to improve their quality of life (Lowell et al., 2014). Similarly, effective communication allows the organisation to recognise and help solve the conflict between health perspectives and worldviews of Aboriginal cultures which focuses on the holistic health and Anglo-Australian healthcare which adheres to biomedical model of health. (Vass et al., 2011). Hence, the absence of either effective communication or comprehensive health literacy in the statement will negatively affect the other factor and impede the organisation to provide culturally safe healthcare (Lowell et al., 2014).

 Another impediment to cultural safety in Aboriginal healthcare is the external influences such as media. Nairn et al. (2014) have suggested that humans live in media-saturated societies which significantly shape our knowledge, behaviours, worldviews and practices. Despite the advantages that the media in healthcare system such as networking, health education, patient care, organisational health promotion and public health programs, its disadvantages outweigh the benefits, especially in the healthcare for Aboriginal peoples (Pentescu, 2015). Firstly, the abundance of unreliable health resources which are created with different purposes, puts its consumers at high risk of obtaining incorrect and biased health information and damaging their physical health (Ventola, 2014). Secondly, the false information about specific groups of peoples offered by the media further leads to discrimination and racism within the healthcare sector as they not only promote the superiority of dominant culture but also devalue the minority populations (Awofeso, 2011). Thirdly, sharing health information on the media may cause the breach the clients’ confidentiality (Ventola, 2014). Ultimately, the statement helps both the healthcare workers and the clients to be aware of and be able to minimise the negative influences of the external factors on their health and healthcare practices.

Recognising the crucial roles of effective communication, health literacy and external influences on the clients’ health, MHAC successfully plans the cultural safety position statement that clearly identifies the organisation’s standards governing clinical quality and professionalism and evidencebased strategies to reinforce cultural respect and cultural safety (Laverty et al., 2017). The statement highlights the need for cultural awareness, cultural respect, cultural competencies and cultural security in order to achieve cultural safety (Curtis et al., 2019). It identifies the power differentials and racism in healthcare and requires the healthcare professionals to self-reflect and evaluate to acknowledge and limit the impediments to culturally safe healthcare practices. Following that, the statement emphasises on the need for inclusion and collaboration with the Aboriginal communities and aims to foster Aboriginal self-determination which empowers them to involve and control their health and healthcare (Durey et al., 2016). As a result, the statement improves healthcare quality that addresses Aboriginal holistic health, and strengthens their rights of independence, equality and indulging equitable health.

Despite the statement’s benefits, its effectiveness is still limited because of the lack of resources, cultural knowledge and competencies to achieve the statement’s requirements. Due to the poverty in the remote areas, more funding is needed in order for the MHAC to adequately access to Aboriginal Interpreter Services, maintain good-quality healthcare services and help improve social determinants of health of the clients (Davy et al., 2016). Moreover, hiring more local health workers from the Aboriginal is an effective approach that not only lowers the local unemployment rate but also allows the organisation to understand more about the Aboriginal communities and create a more welcoming healthcare environment (Jongen et al., 2019). Finally, professional development programs further ensure the enhancement of the healthcare professionals’ knowledge and skills to work more effectively in partnership with the Aboriginal communities to achieve the best health outcomes (Durey& Thompson, 2012).

In conclusion, the rationale explicitly demonstrates the importance of the MHAC cultural safety position statement in enhancing effective communication and health literacy, eliminating negative influences on healthcare practices and promoting cultural safety and empowerment of the Aboriginal communities in the organisation’s healthcare. It also briefly provides few suggestions to overcome the challenges when implementing the statement. However, besides the ones mentioned, the organisation also faces many other difficulties. Henceforth, further exploration is required to present other barriers and discuss in-depth the strategies to ensure the full effectiveness of the statement in closing the health gap.

References

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