Cultural competence and safety requires a number of strategies across various levels of the health system. This assessment is designed to begin exploring YOUR cultural competency and ability to provide culturally safe care as a health professional. Understanding of culture and the way it operates is fundamental to understanding what it means to be culturally competent and provide safe practice.
There are some premises underlying this assessment:
§Rural and remote populations are made up of culturally diverse populations.
As well as sharing many attributes, humans have significant cultural distinctions.
Valuing cultural diversity & cultural competence is part of a responsive and
equitable health care system1.
§ What “really matters to the person at the centre of care is how the health
professional responds to them in any particular encounter”2.
Cultural Safety refers to “more or less — an environment that is safe for people: where there is no assault, challenge or denial of their identity, of who they are and what they need. It is about shared respect, shared meaning, shared knowledge and experience, of learning, living and working together with dignity and truly listening.”3
• Cultural safety is relevant to all groups of people and individuals, not just those who identify as Indigenous Australians or are refugees. There is a tendency for people to view these groups as relatively homogenous. Instead they are culturally diverse.
• There can be both similarities and differences within and across cultural groups. Being sensitive to this diversity aids in providing quality, safe, and equitable care. Be mindful of not slipping into stereotype language. For example: say what the statistics are for drinking in rural areas rather than saying that men in rural areas drink a lot.
• Cultural safety is about the experience of the patient/client – what impact might you as a practitioner have in creating a culturally safe service?