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Learning modules

Activity 3: Cultural factors influencing death & dying

Cultural safety is a framework developed by Maori nurse, Irahapeti Ramsden in the late 1980s. Cultural safety extends beyond cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity and has at its core the experience of the person receiving care. [1] Cultural safety principles aim to ensure:

  • individuals receive care that meets their cultural needs and promotes feelings of being safe [12]
  • individuals are not afforded less favourable outcomes because they hold a different cultural outlook [2]
  • care provided is regardful of culture [2]

A culturally safe approach to care requires health professionals to:

  • be aware and mindful of their personal attitudes and values towards gender, race, religion and sexuality
  • be self-aware and reflect on their practice
  • understand post-colonisation
  • apply the principles of effective communication and be aware of different styles of communication
  • be inclusive
  • act respectfully and to empower individuals [2]
  • promote shared respect, meaning, knowledge and experiences.

Unsafe cultural practice occurs when actions diminish, demean or disempower the cultural identity of an individual. [2]

Thinking points


REFERENCES

1. The Nguyen, H. (2008). Patient-centred care: Cultural safety in indigenous health. Australian Family Physician, 37 (12), 990-994.

2. Taylor, K., Guerin, P. (2010). Health Care and Indigenous Australians: Cultural safety in practice. Palgrave Macmillan, Melbourne.