Significance Of Cultural Awareness & Culture Competence Essay


Describe the significance of cultural awareness and culture competence to provide effective healthcare services to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.



Cultural bias has impact on individual’s actions as perceptions are formed by one’s experiences and cultural context. Misinterpretation may occur while working with people with different culture so it is important to monitor, recognize and be aware of own behavior and cultural bias. It is important for healthcare professionals to be aware of their culture as well as others to understand to provide culture-based services.

Cultural bias and disparity in Aboriginal people:

It is apparent that there is a significant amount of heath inequalities between aboriginals and non-aboriginals people of Australia. They face discrimination and inequalities while accessing healthcare facilities and are mostly not treated well by healthcare professionals. Similarly, at my workplace also they face problem while accessing services due to language and communication barriers and cultural differences (Li, 2017).

People from different cultural background have different characteristic patterns of beliefs, values, behaviors, attitudes, language, ways of communication and traditions and customs. These differences between aboriginals and non-aboriginal healthcare worker may cause personality and behavior differences such as body language, manners etc. which results to misinterpretation, disputes and miscommunication. Therefore, culture differences may bring disparity in healthcare or unsatisfactory health outcomes.

Language and cultural barriers are the main issues which affects the relationship and communication with these people. Most of the aboriginal don’t use English as their first language which creates problems in communication and establishing relationship with them. The aboriginal people do not like being stared or direct eye contact as they consider it rude and sign of disrespect (Dudgeon & Ugle, n.d.).

It is important for healthcare worker to respect and recognize cultural diversity and knows that everyone should be treated equally with respect and courtesy regardless of gender, religion, culture or beliefs. So as a healthcare professional I understand the importance of culture in Aboriginal people and try to provide culturally competent healthcare service. I also understand the significance of self-awareness, verbal and nonverbal communication. Therefore, I sincerely give my full attention while communicating with them so that I can understand them properly and there is no miscommunication or misinterpretation. Similarly, I am aware of importance of cultural awareness of my own as well as their culture and make sure to deliver them appropriate service to provide them with cultural safety.

The health care worker must be aware about the culture and tradition of these group of people so that it becomes easier in delivering health care services. The aboriginal people do not like being touched until and unless they know the person whom they are dealing with. Hence, it becomes very important for any health care worker to first establish the relationship before providing any service to them (Freeman, et al., 2014).

If the healthcare worker has an ability to provide healthcare services effectively and meet all the cultural, linguistic and social requirement of the aboriginal people or patient then it demonstrates cultural competency (Bainbridge, et al., 2015). A person can demonstrate cultural competency when he/ she has ability to interact, understand and communicate effectively, ability to determine and challenge own value, beliefs and assumptions, knowledge about aboriginal language values and customs of their cultures, skills to feel comfortable while communicating with them and willingness to study about their culture. This capacity depends on one’s awareness about their own cultures and also having sufficient knowledge about the culture of aboriginal and cultural differences. One should also have knowledge about aboriginal’s cultural backgrounds.

Conclusion: From the above paper, it is apparent that health care worker must be aware about the culture and tradition of aboriginal people so that they can provide proper health care services. The Government should develop and implement policies as per the need and demand of aboriginal people so that there is no disparity between them and non-aboriginal people


Bainbridge, R., McCalman, J. & Clifford, A., 2015. Cultural competency in the delivery of health services for Indigenous people. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 22 June 2018].

Dudgeon, P. & Ugle, K., n.d. Communicating and Engaging with Diverse Communities. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 22 June 2018].

Freeman, T., Edwards, T., Baum, F. & Lawless, A., 2014. Cultural respect strategies in Australian Aboriginal primary health care services: beyond education and training of practitioners. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 34(8), pp. 355-361.

Li, J., 2017. Cultural barriers lead to inequitable healthcare access for aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders. NCBI, 4(4), pp. 207-210

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