Indigenous Health And Cross Culture Care
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia are also known as indigenous people of Australian region. These communities had their existence before the colonization. So, their health status has changed before and after immigration. The current research report focuses on the indigenous health and cross culture care. Further, study also sheds light on that whether Registered nurses are providing culturally safe nursing care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia or not.
Pre-invasion health status (Physical and mental) of the Australian Indigenous population
Since, 1789 pre-invasion health status of Australian Indigenous population was very strong as compare to the rest population of this country (Liamputtong, 2008). For instance, they had not suffered from smallpox, influenza, tuberculosis, measles, venereal syphilis, scarlet fever and gonorrhoea. On the other hand, Indigenous people were facing different other health issues such as infection from bacteria, hepatitis B and some intestinal parasites, etc. Similarly, indigenous people had faced different major diseases which occurs death. These types of diseases were Trauma, Anaemia, Arthritis, Periodontal and Tooth Attrition. But, these diseases did not have huge impact on physical and mental health status of this generation as compare to other health issues of 18th century (Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, 2013). Prior to colonization health status of aboriginal was very poor. There life style and lining standard was totally depended on environment and their diet was quite good as compare to the eating habits of present population of aboriginals. In contrast, indigenous people had not faced heart attack and other physical and mental disabilities at high extent. Treatment facilities were also too different from today as they used to follow their traditional methods for resolving physical and mental health problems (Cultural Respect Framework Cultural Respect Framework, 2009).
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Critical analysis has reflected that aboriginal were belonged to diverse culture and convincing history. But, colonisation, legislation and stolen generation have some negative impacts on aboriginal Australians. So, these problems affect the mental health status of population. Earlier they had faced different mental problems such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. All these problems have huge impact on aboriginal population in present era. Overall, analysis of pre-invasion health status has reflected that physical and mental health of the Australian Indigenous population was very complicated and poor but they had not faced the different crucial diseases of today’s lifestyle (Penny and Thomson, 1987).
Impact of assimilation policy on health status of the Australian Indigenous population today
As per the above discussion major intent of assimilation policy was improving the lifestyle of indigenous people. But, after implementation, it has huge negative impacts which affect their physical and mental health status. Assimilation policy leads integration of indigenous people in white community of Australia but both communities belong to different culture which creates different situations of social disadvantages which negatively affect their lifestyle. Social disadvantages comprise poverty, powerlessness, joblessness, lack of education and income resources (Thomas, 2012). All these impacts affect their lifestyle and increase their level of stress and depression. It has huge negative impact on their physical and mental health status. Due to all these reason indigenous people are not able to avail all the medical facilities which are easily taken by the white community. Earlier they apply traditional methods of medical for resolving their physical and mental health status so; they don’t have sufficient knowledge about the latest medical technologies and treatment. There level of income and education are also considered as major reason behind their poor physical and mental health status (Thomas, 2006).
As per the above discussion major intent of assimilation policy was to integrate aboriginal people into white society by removing children from their families. But, this step has negative impact on mental health status of indigenous people. It has negatively affected the mental health of female indigenous as compare to male. Indigenous people have suffered from memory problems, inability to concentrate and anxious problems. Stress and depression increases the chances of health shock, rapid heartbeat, chest pain, etc (Brown, 2004). Due to the poor physical and mental health status, cases of deaths and heat shocks among indigenous people are increasing day by day.
Identifying and critically discussing the links between the Assimilation Policy and Indigenous Australians specifically
Above discussion has reflected that Assimilation Policy has direct impact on physical and mental health of indigenous people. Analysis also reflected that there is a specific link between Assimilation Policy and Indigenous Australians in aspect of social and emotional wellbeing. Today, indigenous people are suffering from various crucial mental and physical health diseases which were not relevant to the pre-health status of aboriginal community (The context of Indigenous health, 2013). These negative impacts directly affect the social and emotional wellbeing of aboriginals. In terms of positive aspect, Assimilation policy helps in providing equal rights to indigenous people which have already provided by the national government to White British Community. But, on the other hand, in terms of disadvantages this policy leads poverty, powerlessness, lack of education, unemployment, low income sources, etc. All these impacts negatively affect social and emotional wellbeing of indigenous community (Coward and Ratanakul, 1999).
Recently major diseases of indigenous people are cardiovascular disease, cancer, debilities, mental problems, kidney health, and injury, eye health, hearing problem, oral health and communicable ones. All these physical and mental health status affect their social and emotional well being. Good mental and physical health directly affects the wellbeing of individual, families and communities. In the present scenario, there are different social factors which can influence psychological health status of aboriginals. Along with this, biological, psychological, social, environmental and economic status of this community also affects its lifestyle and lining standard. Mak, 2004 has stated that “Good physical and mental health improves involvement of individuals in community life, workforce and help in maintaining good and positive relationship with other individuals” (Mak, 2004). But, on the other hand, current health status of indigenous people was not as good. So, they are not able to give their best involvement in social activities of Australian community. It affects their social relationship with other communities which have negative impact on their emotional wellbeing.
Along with this, earlier the integration individuals of aboriginal community were very healthy because of their traditional culture. Due to different culture and language differences aboriginal individuals were not able to define their health issues and problems which reduce health conditions (Lloyd, 2010). Therefore, critical analysis reflected that culture differences affect social and emotional wellbeing of individuals. In addition, differences among culture and religions of indigenous and non-indigenous people increases the feelings of fear, stress, disrespect and estrangement which affect their social as well as emotional lifestyle of indigenous people.
How can the Registered Nurse/ Midwife ensure that Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people are provided with culturally safe nursing care?
Critical discussion has reflected that after assimilation policy indigenous people were facing huge problems due to the cross culture which affect physical and mental health status of individuals. So, they require appropriate health care services from registered nurses and midwife (Dowd and et al, 2010). These nurses are working with different health care centres by which they can easily determine the needs and requirements for improving physical and mental health of indigenous people of Australia. Working activities of different health care centres and registered nurses are controlled by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Care Organization (ATSICCHO) (Barry and et al, 2012). All registered nurses try to satisfy all the medical needs and requirements of Australian Indigenous population people. Along with this, they have designed particular processes for providing various services which can satisfy medical, health and cultural needs of aboriginal individuals. In addition, registered nurses are doing deep research on cross culture gap between indigenous and non-indigenous people of Australia (Collins, 2009).
Analysis has also reflected that, in the current living scenario aboriginal people of Australia are facing lots of physical and mental health issues which are specifically handled by registered nurses and Midwives (Dowd and et al, 2010). Number of frequency of chronic diseases has become very high as compared to before assimilation policy. There are large number of survey have conducted which have stated that, in every second one individual of aboriginal community suffered from a chronic health issue which was not occurred in their lifestyle when they were followed their traditional culture and lined with their whole family and children. Registered nurses have believed that social disadvantages, cross culture and inactive lifestyle are major reasons of poor physical and mental health of aboriginal people of Australia. All these uncertainties augment the possibilities of stroke, colon cancer, diabetes, high blood pressures, breast cancer, obesity, etc (Coward and Ratanakul, 1999).
Education gap is also one of the major barriers among indigenous group and registered nurses of this islander. Due to this reason, Indigenous population cannot define their actual problems to registered nurses and in this case they are also not able to provide required services to patients. In addition, aboriginal community is also facing huge problem related to understanding the legislations and policies of Australian government which affect their mental health and it is going to very difficult for registered nurses to stable their mental health status. This problem increases the chances of mental stroke and disabilities also (Thomas, 2006).
Health and specialist services provided by Registered Nurses and Midwives
Registered nurses and aboriginals offer different medical services to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities. All these services are very effective and helpful for reducing the effects and physical and mental health issues of indigenous population. Major services that are provided by registered nurses are primary care of adults, children and maternal. Further, these services also comprise podiatry, pharmacy and audiology (Collins, 2009). Including this, registered nurses also take part in different health promotion campaigns, provision of glucometers, home medicines review, health programs for men and women, Sexual health program and chronic diseases' management and immunisation programs, etc.
Above discussed services are very helpful and effective for physical and mental health status of Australian Indigenous people. In addition, registered nurses also supply primary services to whole community which is favourable for all individuals of indigenous people as well as also provides assistance in satisfying all medical needs and requirements. Primary care of nurses resolves their minor health issues which reduces the chances of starting chronic diseases (Brown, 2004). These are very effective services for pregnant women because it helps in taking birth of healthy child.
Analysis has also reflected that, indigenous people also suffer from foot disorder because earlier they followed traditional culture and living standard. So, Registered nurses also provide podiatry services to Australian indigenous people which help in reducing the chances of food disorder. Including this, registered nurses also makes availability of different medicines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It helps in improving the physical and mental health status (Mak, 2004).
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So, Critical discussion reflected that registered nurses of Australia try to provide effective health care services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It helps in improving their physical and mental health issues. But, there are number of barriers which affect their services. So, they should try to reduce the effects of all these barriers and provide essential services to them (Thomas, 2012).
The current research report has concluded that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were enjoying a healthy lifestyle before colonization. After Assimilation policy their physical and mental status decreased due to the stress and depression. Different factors such as forcible removal of Children from family, lack of education and income, cross culture, differences in languages are the major barriers which increase the level of stress and depression. It affects the physical and mental health of indigenous people. In addition, registered nurses of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island try to provide best services to aboriginal community but due to different geographical and social barrier they are also not able to provide best services to them. So, poor physical and mental health condition is the major problem of indigenous people in Australia.
- Brown, A., 2004. The context of Indigenous cardiovascular disease. Central Australian Rural Practitioners Association Newsletter.
- Collins, S., 2009. Health and Safety: A Workbook for Social Care Workers. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
- Coward, G. H. and Ratanakul, P., 1999. A Cross-cultural Dialogue on Health Care Ethics. Wilfrid Laurier Univ.
- Dowd, T. and et al, 2010. Binan Goonj: Bridging Cultures in Aboriginal Health. Elsevier Australia.
- Healy, J., 2011. Improving Health Care Safety and Quality: Reluctant Regulators. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
- Penny, M. and Thomson, N., 1987. A preliminary analysis of Aboriginal tuberculosis, 1984. Aboriginal Health Information Bulletin.