Select one article from a nursing journal focused on a specific cultural group. Write a paper of 800-1100 words that addresses the following guidelines:
Explain the rationale for selecting the chosen cultural group.
Summarize the key points of the article and discuss key cultural differences to be taken into consideration when providing care.
Apply the new information to a practice situation that demonstrates cultural sensitivity in communication with that cultural group.
Address the importance of cultural sensitivity in communication, both generally and with this population, and present any conclusions drawn from the article.
Communication and Healthcare in Indigenous Population Settings
In the provision of quality healthcare, communication is an essential component.it is through communication that symptoms can be explained, care plan delivered and follow-ups efficiently done. Among Australia’s Indigenous populations, a gap in communication exists between the healthcare providers and the people for whom this healthcare is intended. This situation is compounded with the fact that there are no enough indigenous people trained as healthcare providers to assist in breaking down the communication barrier that has existed for generations (Jennings et al. 2018). This essay views the manner in which communication barrier has served as an impediment to the provision of quality healthcare among indigenous people of Australia as explained by Amery in her article. The communication gap between health professionals and Indigenous Australians has a significant impact on health outcomes.
Rationale for Selecting the Cultural Group
It is true that limited health literacy is not a preserve of the Indigenous populations of Australia. However, when the impact of this aspect is compared between Indigenous speakers with even non-English speaking immigrants from cultures in which medical concepts are already well codified, then there is a magnification of the differences. In remote areas of Australia where the linguistic differences are most pronounced, the communication gap gets wider in turn (Amery, 2017). It is therefore essential that such gaps are understood in the context of the healthcare delivery so that appropriate remedies are taken.
Secondly, for these Indigenous populations living in far-flung remote areas of Australia, the life expectancy is remarkably shorter when the same data is compared with those Australians living in cities like Sidney or Melbourne. Even while there is insufficient data on the differences on life expectancy for Indigenous peoples as a cohort, existing data suggests that for Indigenous people in the Northern Territory, 70% of who live in remote areas, the gap in life expectancy exceeds 16 years (Amery, 2017). It has to be acknowledged that for this cultural group, the gaping difference in life expectancy can be attributed to several other factors as well. However, the differences in communication have a contribution in this regard that has to be acknowledged and which it has to be said that has been underrated.
Key Points and Cultural Differences from the Article
One of the key points that the article affirms is the fact that the limitation that exists in communication between the Indigenous people and healthcare providers directly affects the provision of healthcare to them. Amery (2017) cites a 2011 report that indicated that 60, 550 people (about 11% of Indigenous respondents), spoke an Indigenous language at home and of these, 17.5% claimed not to speak English well. One of the reasons provided for the importance in understanding the communication divide is that more Indigenous speakers have a problem with specialized language, common terms like infection, bacteria, stroke, high blood pressure and others that are often either misunderstood to mean other things or felt as alien to their culture. This linguistic landscape has to be understood is communication is to be improved.
The article also asserts that linguistic shifts in regions where Indigenous populations dominate have not had a positive impact on the provision of healthcare for Indigenous people. Some Indigenous people have shifted to dominant languages in their regions, including to Creole languages (Amery, 2017). Aboriginal people for instance often speak varieties of Aboriginal English that is different from mainstream English. For most of these speakers in remote places, their inter-language Aboriginal variety presents unique challenges for medical personnel who may fail to understand it. The article also takes note of the misinterpretations that arise from the interface of communication and culture, in which case the implication is from the differences that exist in terms of the worldview rather than the purely linguistic.
One of the key cultural differences to take into account while providing healthcare as this article asserts is of course, language. Secondly, the worldview of a given culture is vital in understanding the healthcare differences (Amery, 2017). One culture may have a totally different view of the world from what is considered mainstream. This would ultimately affect the provision of healthcare for this group. A culture’s beliefs and practices may also affect the quality of healthcare that they ultimately receive. This is true for instance when a culture prizes a different mode of treatment from what mainstream science provides. Some Indigenous cultures have healthcare systems that are plant based in which they believe. Getting them to accept alternative methods may prove difficult. Finally, religious differences across cultures also affect healthcare quality. Some religions for example, do not accept vaccination policies. This may hamper the efforts of quality healthcare provision for them.
Application of New Information
There is a need for healthcare providers to develop a more robust communication strategy to improve healthcare among Indigenous peoples. A number of healthcare providers are already rising to this challenge. One of the ways that have been explored is through the use of medical interpreters. Amery (2017) affirms that this has happened in two ways—either through linguistic experts who understand these languages or training of more indigenous speakers. Secondly, some medical practitioners have made use of diagrams and illustrations to reinforce communication and make it easier for Indigenous speakers to understand. In such cases, demonstrations have also been preferred.
In addition, simplicity in language has been adopted. Because most Indigenous speakers have only a basic understanding of English, efforts have been made to avoid idiom and complicated diction to make communication simpler. Indigenous speakers have also been accorded more time to tell their story their way. Finally, health practitioners have increasingly turned to culturally meaningful analogies that make sense within the patient’s lived experience and worldview (Jennings et al., 2018).
Importance of cultural sensitivity in communication
Being culturally sensitive while communicating in healthcare settings has the potential of fostering a cross-cultural understanding and thus improving the trust that people from other cultures have in the healthcare system (Yashadhana et al., 2020). This sensitivity would mean that the perspective of such groups is taken into consideration while designing healthcare plans and that the healthcare personnel would display patience in explaining and demonstrating where possible, some of these concepts. The cultural sensitivity would also build the confidence of people across cultures, enabling them to increase their participation because they are less shy to relay their fears.
For the Indigenous population in Australia, becoming culturally sensitive would help in increasing their participation in healthcare activities and changing their perceptions about particular facts. In many Indigenous groups for instance, even simple accidents are attributed to sorcery. Understanding these differences would mean that the healthcare providers would acknowledge the differences in perspectives and offer a common ground for the cultures to meet. The sensitivity also limits the chances that misunderstandings would occur in communication because both the patients and the healthcare providers would be patient to communicate the right thing and ensure that they are not misunderstood.
In conclusion, communication in healthcare among the Indigenous population in Australia demands that the healthcare providers exercise novel ways of sensitivity and cultural understanding. The linguistic divide affects healthcare negatively among this population. The relaying of alien concepts in health and terms that the native speakers have not heard before often present the challenge of misunderstanding. The healthcare providers have to be culturally sensitive to such differences if healthcare among the different cultural groups is to be improved.
Amery, R. (2017). Recognising the communication gap in Indigenous health care. Medical Journal of Australia, 207(1), 13-15.
Jennings, W., Bond, C., & Hill, P. S. (2018). The power of talk and power in talk: a systematic review of Indigenous narratives of culturally safe healthcare communication. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 24(2), 109-115.
Yashadhana, A., Fields, T., Blitner, G., Stanley, R., & Zwi, A. B. (2020). Trust, culture and communication: determinants of eye health and care among Indigenous people with diabetes in Australia. BMJ global health, 5(1), e001999.