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Transformative Journey: Cultivating Cultural Competence in Healthcare


How can healthcare professionals actively challenge biases, unlearn preconceptions, and engage in direct interactions with Indigenous communities to foster cultural awareness and contribute to improved health outcomes?

Cultivating Cultural Competence in Healthcare

Cultivating Cultural Competence in Healthcare 03



In the context of my studies in this unit, I have gone on a fascinating journey of self-discovery and learning about the different cultures, histories, and health situations of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This reflection goes into my increasing understanding and experiences, addressing the many characteristics indicated in the assessment instructions. As we travel the complicated terrain of cultural competency, self-discovery is accompanied by self-disclosure. I have learned to appreciate the limitations of my past attitudes and the presence of prejudices and assumptions that have the potential to hamper good care.

My rising cultural competence, gained via education and direct involvement with Indigenous communities, is changing me into a more empathic and culturally aware health professional. This essay is a study of the dramatic alterations in perspective, attitudes, and approaches to healthcare that have distinguished my path. It's an account of the progression of my own self-awareness and the dedication to defending the rights and health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Comment on Diversity

Australia's Indigenous communities are extraordinarily diverse, including several nations, cultures, and languages. My location within the Cultural Security Scale, as stated by Coffin (2007), places me at an initial stage of limited cultural competency. I acknowledge my need for further progress in this area. My journey has begun by developing a genuine respect for the variety within these groups. Recognizing this rich tapestry of cultures is a vital step on the journey towards cultural competence.

As I explore more into learning the diversity, I grasp the significance of self-determination and cultural identity for Indigenous populations. The experiences and perceptions of an Aboriginal person from the Noongar nation in Western Australia may differ greatly from those of a Torres Strait Islander in the tropical northern islands. These unique worldviews, influenced by location, history, and community, add to the richness and complexity of Indigenous cultures.

Policies and History

The historical influence of policies on Indigenous populations cannot be emphasised. It is obvious that the implications of policies, such as forced assimilation and the Stolen Generations, continue to influence the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today (Lin, Green & Bessarab, 2016). The legacy of these practices, including health disparities and cultural trauma, has underlined the urgency of correcting these past injustices. This strategy, aimed at assimilating Indigenous children into non-Indigenous culture, left profound scars on families and communities. The enduring ramifications of such practises are obvious in the health disparities and cultural trauma that persist today.

Moreover, the loss of land and the marginalization of Indigenous peoples have far-reaching impacts. These measures undermined traditional ways of life, destroyed links to the land, and weakened cultural customs. Understanding this history highlights the need of rectifying these wrongs and working towards reconciliation.

Determinants of Health

I have received important insights into the determinants of health and their substantial effects on Indigenous people. Socioeconomic factors, cultural influences, and health behavior patterns greatly determine health outcomes. Understanding these determinants has reaffirmed my duty as a health professional in fighting for fair healthcare access and cultural sensitivity. The resilience and capabilities contained in Indigenous cultures have enabled communities to adapt and persist. However, cultural variables can also intersect with social determinants, altering healthcare access, nutrition, and overall well-being (Lin, Green & Bessarab, 2016).

My responsibility as a health professional is to advocate for equitable healthcare access, address the social determinants of health, and engage with Indigenous people in a culturally sensitive manner. This extends to supporting lifestyle choices that correspond with cultural values while respecting individual choices.

Personal Development

Through this class, I have grown to appreciate the limitations of my former views and preconceptions. I've tackled my own biases and preconceptions, acknowledging that they might be impediments to successful care. My rising cultural competence, gained via education and direct involvement with Indigenous communities, is changing me into a more empathic and culturally aware health professional. Cultural influences on health behavior are equally substantial. This insight was both disturbing and enlightening, as I grasped the need of actively challenging and unlearning these biases.

My direct interaction with Indigenous communities, particularly in the context of healthcare, has been crucial in my progress. Listening to the stories and experiences of Indigenous persons, acknowledging the trauma, and recognizing the resilience have been powerful learning experiences.

This personal development has given me with the tools to engage in challenging dialogues and address structural biases within healthcare and larger society. My dedication to continuing self-reflection and cultural competency will be an ongoing process in my job as a health professional, ensuring that I can contribute to better health outcomes and increased cultural security for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Analysis and Exploration

I have studied the link between theory and practice, finding prejudices and stereotypes that once affected my perspectives. Uncovering the past injustices and the impact of policies has stressed the need of eliminating these prejudices (Greene-Moton & Minkler, 2020). This thinking has led me to consider the broader societal environment and how we may collectively address historical wrongs. By confronting my own biases and those of others, I have recognised that dispelling these myths is a community endeavour. Understanding the broader socioeconomic context is crucial; past events and continuing disparities influence our perceptions. This awareness underscores the significance of developing a more inclusive and fair healthcare system that addresses the impact of past injustices (Lin, Green & Bessarab, 2016).

Actions, Impacts, and Plans

The knowledge of the huge significance of my role in healthcare is both humbling and motivating. Moving forward, I am dedicated to enabling culturally competent care and engaging in methods that strengthen Indigenous communities. My efforts will include pushing for policies that support cultural security and increased access to healthcare services, therefore contributing to improved health outcomes. I consider my role as an advocate for policies that prioritize cultural security, education, and healthcare accessible. As I focus on the future, I am committed to developing methods that empower Indigenous communities, respecting their cultural customs and acknowledging their right to self-determination. I recognise that creating trust and collaboration is vital in ensuring excellent health outcomes, and I plan to continuously educate myself and my peers on cultural sensitivity and understanding.

Cultural Integrity and Self-awareness

I appreciate the imperative of cultural purity. Recognizing and respecting diversity, comprehending the Cultural Security Scale, and following to cultural protocols are important for patient self-determination and excellent health outcomes. By keeping cultural integrity, I hope to promote trust and partnership with Indigenous patients. Exclusion, stereotyping, and overgeneralization must be consistently fought to promote the realisation of variety within Indigenous communities (Greene-Moton & Minkler, 2020). My engagement with the Cultural Security Scale, including brokers and protocols, allows me to negotiate the complex healthcare sector and promote an environment that respects Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination. It is obvious that acknowledging diversity and appreciating the value of cultural security and Indigenous protocols are critical aspects in facilitating patient self-determination, which, in turn, leads to better good health outcomes.

Appropriate Writing

In adhering to acceptable terminology and the values described in the Gulanga Good Practice Guides, I want to ensure that my writing and interactions exhibit cultural respect and understanding. My language and conversation must coincide with cultural respect and understanding. This extends to appreciating the importance of terminology that respects the cultural identity and preferences of Indigenous folks (Coffin, 2007). By utilizing appropriate and polite language, I hope to bridge cultural gaps and allow clearer and more meaningful interactions, so boosting the overall quality of care and assistance provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Understanding the subtleties of communication and language is a key component of my ongoing path toward cultural competence and healthcare justice.


In conclusion, my journey through this unit has led to substantial adjustments in my ideas, attitudes, and approaches to healthcare. Recognizing the importance of cultural competence, historical awareness, and the determinants of health has become firmly engrained in my professional ethics. As I move forward, I am committed in my resolve to deconstruct obstacles, challenge misconceptions, and push for equal healthcare access. I will engage in actions that empower Indigenous communities, respecting their cultural customs and acknowledging their right to self-determination.

My goal is to contribute to a healthcare landscape that is inclusive, culturally sensitive, and dedicated to excellent health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. I recognize that as a healthcare professional, I am an advocate, a bridge builder, and a catalyst for change. My impact extends beyond individual patient contacts; it influences policies, practices, and, eventually, the health outcomes of entire communities. My journey towards cultural competence continues, as does my devotion to promoting healthcare fairness, recognizing the many cultures within Indigenous communities, and advocating for cultural security.


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