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One of the issues that has affected my understanding about aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is life expectancy status. In module one,  aboriginal and Torres strait islander health, there is an problem raised by professor David from which I came to know that there is 10-12 years gap in life expectancy between indigenous people and non-indigenous people. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2009 cited in Rosentock (2013) mentions that a non-aboriginal people who  is   born in Australia would live 10-13 year longer than an aboriginal people where life expectancy gaps of  male is 12.4 years and female is 13.1 years . Moreover, social detrimental factor such as poverty, racism, educational and occupation status impact on individual where Aboriginal people engage in health risk behavior such as suicide, circulatory disease and cancer thereby, leading the causes of death (Australian government, 2014). There is health disparities between indigenous and non-indigenous people. However, this gap in life expectancy have brought some positive changes in indigenous health status such as slightly difference in mortality rate. Moreover, after attending my aboriginal classes and going through reading about aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life expectancy and poor health status motivated me to research more about them.

As an international student, tutorial reading was my first exposure to aboriginal and Torres Strait islander health situation and life expectancy. A similar situation exist in my back home country Nepal. Moreover, there is life expectancy and health status gap between village people and city people. However, before attending class and listening to what David had to say, I felt that there is equal health access for everybody In Australia. I believed that aboriginal people live longer than non-aboriginal people. Furthermore, after engaging in class my knowledge about aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health situation has expanded. I knew that social and economic factor such as unemployment, poverty, racism accounted issues to life expectancy.

There is gap exist between the aboriginal and non- aboriginal people in life expectancy and health status. Moreover, government introduced the close the gap policy to provide equal health access between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people which is the positive impact on the health of aboriginal people. Moreover, closing the gap strategy focus on improving the life expectancy of aboriginal people (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2018). Therefore, government has taken serious steps to close the health gap and investing money in health services. Nevertheless, there is only small changes in infant mortality rate and life expectancy of aboriginal people. Moreover, I think government has not been succeed to close life expectancy gap and health gap since past ten years, which is the negative impact for aboriginal people (Australian government, 2014). Government did not focus on social determinants of health and primary health care is the reason behind the unsuccessful to close the gap (Griew, 2008).

I have realized after reading module 1 to module 4 that historical, political and cultural issue plays a negative and positive role in aboriginal health and life expectancy gap. For instance, stolen generation is one of the historical factors that has a negative impact on aboriginal people health. Stolen generation is defined as separating children forcibly   from their families and community (Anderson & Tilton, 2017). Moreover, Children were separated from family make me think about psychological effect (trauma) could happened to aboriginal community that could lead mental health problem such as depression. After seeing the video of National Apology from Prime Minister “kevin Rudd” to indigenous Australian influence my attitude towards Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander people. Government should provide more support in bringing them home campaign.

From this issue, I would like to conclude that there should be equal health access and should not be life expectancy gap between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people. Aboriginal people should have more financial support from government. I believe that I am becoming more conscious about aboriginal people health. Nurses should have specific training to be culturally sensitive when dealing with aboriginal people. Moreover, I need to be aware of working in a culturally safe way as a nurse (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2018)

Similarly, throughout the study of this unit I have achieved new knowledge and developed my belief and attitudes towards aboriginal people. Furthermore, I am more aware about huge life expectancy and health access gap between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people. Thus, as a student nurse, when I undertake clinical placement I will work collaboratively with aboriginal health care worker and respect their cultures and belief. As a future registered nurse, I will contribute to enhancing the health of aboriginal community by providing fully care and respect their culture and values. I am glad that this unit has increase my understanding of difficulties faced by aboriginal and Torres Strait islander that will ultimately help me as a registered nurse in future.

Reference:

Anderson, p. & Tilton,E. (2017). Bringing Them Home 20 years on: an action plan for healing. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.healingfoundation.org.au//app/uploads/2017/05/Bringing-Them-Home-20-years-on-FINAL-SCREEN-1.pdf

 

Australian Government Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. (2014). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2014 Report. Retrieved from https://www.pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/publications/indigenous/Health-Performance-Framework-2014/index.html

 

 

Australian Human Right Commission. (2018). A ten year review: the closing gap strategy and recommendations for Reset. Retrieved from https://www.humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/document/publication/CTG%202018_FINAL-WEB.pdf

Griew, R. (2008). Department of Health and Ageing. The link between primary health care and health outcomes for aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Retrieved from http://www.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/health-oatsih-pubs-linkphc/$FILE/2008%20OATSIH%20Primary%20Health%20Care%20lit%20review%20FINAL%20ll.pdf

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. (2018). Cultural safety a focus of new code of conduct for nurses. Retrieved from

http://www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au

 

Rosenstock, A. , Mukandi, B. , Zwi, A. B. and Hill, P. S. (2013). Closing the Gaps: Competing estimates of Indigenous Australian life expectancy in the scientific literature. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 37: 356-364. doi:10.1111/1753-6405.12084 retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1753-6405.12084