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Nursing- Health Care For Aboriginal Australians - CALD Communities -Assessment Answer

December 28, 2018
Author : Ashley Simons

Solution Code: 1AJIG


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Nursing Assignment

Case Scenario

Historical practices have created a great deal of distrust within Indigenous peoples with regard to the use of hospitals (Best, 2014). Healthcare in Australia is a predominantly Westernised system that is permeated by the social norms and expectations defined by white culture (Nielsen, 2010). The nursing profession is clearly entrenched in the biomedical model as a by-product of the colonisation process (Best, 2014). These issues and many more have contributed to an inequity in accessing quality health care. People from CALD communities are also known to have issues of inequity in accessing quality health care. Cultural competency is a key strategy for reducing inequalities in healthcare for both Indigenous people and those who identify with CALD communities.

Assignment Task

1.Discuss the likely barriers to accessing health care for Aboriginal Australians from both historical and contemporary perspectives. Consideration may be given to, but is not limited to: language, cultural worldviews and values, spirituality, traditional health practices and beliefs, and workplace diversity.

2.With consideration for your answer to No.1 above, critically discuss inclusive practice strategies to promote access to quality health care for Australia’s Aboriginal people.

3.Discuss the likely barriers to accessing health care for the CALD community patient group. Consideration may be given to, but is not limited to: language, aculturalisation issues, migration, community attitudes, identity, belonging, individualism, engagement, and workplace diversity.

4.With consideration for your answer to No.3 above, critically discuss inclusive practice strategies to promote access to quality health care for the CALD community patient group

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Aboriginal Australians speak over twenty-seven related languages. However, they do not understand English to the level of proficiency, basic use (Eades, 2013). It therefore means, that they cannot effectively communicate with health practitioners who do not speak their language. It also means that they cannot comprehend health information conveyed in English. This language barrier hinders their access to effective health care by denying them the chance to access relevant healthcare information. Much of the information on health care that is regularly distributed is mostly available in English. Due to their smaller population, there have only been modest efforts in trying to make all of it accessible to the Aboriginal Australians (Ward & Trust, 2015). In addition, the language barrier may make communication and health care delivery inefficient by nurses who do not speak Aboriginal languages (Douglas et al., 2014).


Due to lower levels of literacy, many Aboriginal people shy away from seeking medical services. A study by Treolar et al. (2013) revealed that many Aboriginal Australians have no much information about cancer, yet it affected them just like other populations. A low level of literacy does not only make it difficult for them to read, but also fails to emphasize the importance of healthcare information. This factor may significantly reduce the chances of access to important healthcare information. It can also considerably affect the care and treatment processes if they do not understand the importance of procedures or standards such as dosage. For instance, if an Aborigine undergoing tuberculosis treatment does not really comprehend the importance of adhering to the full dose, they may end up contributing to the development of drug-resistant strains of the TB-causing pathogens.

Cultural worldviews and values

Aboriginal culture is largely anti-Western. In essence, Aboriginal Australians oppose the Western way of doing things which may include the contemporary system of health care. Many of them fail to seek medical care even when they are sick preferring to get traditional therapies (Dudgeon, Milroy & Walker, 2014). Their cultural view of the world substantially prevents them from accessing quality health care.


Aboriginal people have very strong spiritual beliefs. They strongly believe in land and its produce and view their world as an interconnected system of elements. This means that everything they consume, including medicine, must be substantially sourced from land (Cowlishaw, 2013). They may also have strong opinions against pollution and if they associate contemporary health care with pollution, they may be unable to access it. Just like their cultural view of the world, their spirituality contributes to their avoidance of modern healthcare systems.

Traditional health practices and beliefs

Aboriginal people mistrust Western systems of life, including that of health care. Moreover, they have had their own systems of health which they have trusted for generations. It might be difficult to convince them of the benefits of modern healthcare. Therefore, they may shun contemporary health care for their traditional medicine. Furthermore, they believe in holistic health and wellbeing while contemporary healthcare may seem to be mostly focused on managing diseases. The differences between their traditional systems and modern healthcare are obvious. As a result, Aboriginal people may end up not effectively accessing health care because of the beliefs they hold on health practices (Riggs et al., 2015).

Workplace diversity

It is important for a workplace has a rich diversity of staff with regard to language, culture, religion or race. Workplace diversity is important in facilitating a richer experience of service delivery. However, the same diversity may make the customisation of service delivery to more aptly suit a particular people difficult (Downey et al., 2015). Since there are different cultures represented in the workplace, it may not possible or appropriate to give one culture priority. It is not possible to use a non-official language or even exercise in cultural norms that would make a certain community more comfortable in such a workplace. This factor may inhibit equitable access to marginalized populations such as the Aboriginal people.

Inclusive practice strategies to promote access to quality health care for Aboriginal Australians

Language barriers can be addressed by increasing availability of information in Aboriginal languages (Flores, 2014). Information about specific health issues that substantially affect particular aboriginal communities should be made available to those communities in their languages. This way, the challenge of lack of information may be eliminated, which will make the benefits of modern health care visible to these communities.

Addressing the healthcare challenges raised by low levels of literacy may require using Aboriginal community leaders to educate their members on particular health issues. These key community figures are selected and empowered with appropriate information and tools to educate their communities. Since these leaders are trusted by their members, it will be easier to get messages to the communities using this strategy.

Differing cultural worldviews and values by Aboriginal communities can be addressed by addressing health issues from their perspective.

Addressing spirituality also requires appealing to the Aboriginal spiritual values. Health care information should be carefully designed to agree with most of their spiritual principles.

Traditional health practices and beliefs can be addressed by customizing health approaches to suit the traditional philosophies held by the Aboriginal people such as holistic health.

Harmonizing workplace diversity with the diversity of the dominant Aboriginal community can increase engagement efficiency and boost credibility of contemporary healthcare provision among Australian Aboriginals.


CALD communities may constitute refugees, asylum seekers and general immigrants from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Since their diversity in language and culture is unpredictably variable, it poses a challenge in providing them standard access to health care as the rest of the majority population (Meuter et al., 2015). Some come from non-English speaking countries and are hence unable to access the general healthcare information available to the public.

Acculturalisation issuesDue to other barriers such as language, these people may not adapt quickly to changes in culture. They may find contemporary health practices different from what they are used to. The difference in culture can substantially slow the acceptance of the prevailing health care practices.

MigrationThe process of migration and the associated events normally leave the CALD people in trauma. Voluntary access to health care is an important element of community healthcare provision. People who undergo such life situations are less likely to voluntarily seek health care (Garcia-Subirats et al., 2014). Therefore, this factor may contribute to low access to healthcare by CALD people.

Community attitudes

Due to the history of many members of CALD communities, they may easily develop resentment for apparently being segregated. Community attitudes such as sentiments of segregation on the basis of culture and linguistic diversity may create resistance to healthcare systems (Flores, 2014). CALD people who feel that they receive “special treatment” when accessing health care, may shun from the health care system.

Identity and belonging

CALD people may suffer from identity crises after having abandoned their maternal homes and operating in a totally new culture. It is not strange to find CALD people to try to assimilate into the dominant cultures in search of identity and a feeling of belonging. For this reason, CALD people may avoid health care systems specifically designed for them and, in the process, lose the benefits that might have been gained from the customized services.


The approaches taken by health care providers and policy makers to address the healthcare needs of CALD people may either attract resistance of acceptance. CALD people are more sensitive to engagement than the regular population. Therefore, poor engagement with them may become a barrier to providing them with access to equitable health care.

Workplace diversity makes the provision of culture-specific health care impractical. Due to the diversity of the workplaces in public health care facilities, CALD people may be unable to find programs that address their holistic health needs.

Inclusive practice strategies to promote access to quality health care for CALD communities

Promoting access to quality health care for CALD communities requires addressing the barriers effectively.

The language barrier may be addressed by identifying the dominant languages in a particular CALD community and hence employing a workforce that is equally diverse in language. Also, the channels of healthcare information, communication must be designed to accommodate the identified diversity.

Health care systems should be more sensitive to the acculturation needs of CALD communities. These communities will normally experience major changes in culture from leaving home countries to living in multicultural communities. Being aware of the changes they experience in adapting to a new culture will facilitate improved communication and engagement with them.

Migration trauma should be considered by health care providers so as to include psychological therapies to their approaches to providing health care (Wagner et al., 2013). They should consider holistic care when dealing with CALD communities.

It is difficult to change community attitudes to provide them better access to health care. However, healthcare providers can identify the specific attitudes that different CALD communities may have towards health care provision and eliminate their causal factors.

Health care systems can eliminate the barrier of identity crisis by making the healthcare access identity-neutral. This can be achieved by providing an apparently uniform system of access to health care to all people.

Healthcare providers can improve their engagement by understanding the specific attitudes of the different CALD communities towards engagement with healthcare personnel and henceforth appealing to these attitudes (Lamb et al., 2015).

The barrier of workplace diversity can be minimized by matching the diversity of the nurses with that of the CALD community dominantly present (Dean, Victor & Grimes, 2016).


Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities as well as Australian Aboriginals appear to face almost similar barriers in accessing quality health care. These barriers include language, literacy, cultural values and beliefs, and workplace diversity. The barriers hinder access to quality health care access by denying the communities access to vital health information. Nonetheless, all these hindrances can be addressed effectively. Using the strategies identified, healthcare access for these marginalized groups can be tremendously improved. These strategies can facilitate improved communication, engagement and response to healthcare practices. With their application, Australian Aboriginals and CALD communities will remarkably benefit from the Australian health care system.

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