A friendly dentist smiles to the camera.

Making a difference in your practice

Learning about colonisation, racism and culture, and their impact on healthcare can be challenging. What now?

We’re almost at the end of Week 1 and have covered a lot of ground in a short period of time. Some of the information and statistics can be confronting and at times, you may have had unexpected reactions to the content. As we mentioned in the beginning of this course, discomfort is OK. It is part of the reflective process of developing cultural capabilities.

By now you are beginning to understand why colonisation and racism are key factors contributing to the continuing poor health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. You have also learnt that by protecting Indigenous knowledges and cultures is a protective factor. What’s even more important is how you to choose to apply this new knowledge.

Implications for your health practice

Prejudice, discrimination and racism will interfere with the quality of the relationships you build with your clients, families and communities and can impact on your clinical judgement. Poor judgement translates to poor outcomes for your clients, which undermines the goal of improving healthcare for First Peoples.

All clients, families and communities have the right to be treated with cultural respect and understanding.

This course raises awareness, corrects misunderstandings and fills in some of the knowledge gaps to help you work in a culturally safe way with our people. Each of us has prejudices and each of us can jump to conclusions. What we invite you to do is question those assumptions, let go of your judgments and commit to providing culturally safe health care for all.

Your task

How does racism and denial of your client’s cultural identity contribute to poor health outcomes for Australia’s First Peoples? Post your responses in the comments link below.

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This article is from the free online course:

Safer Healthcare for Australia's First Peoples

Griffith University