Indigenous Australian Cultural Practices - Nursing Assignment Sample

Nursing Assignment Sample on Indigenous Australian Cultural Practices

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Nursing Assignment Questions

Indigenous cultural practices differ significantly to those of other cultures as a nurse working in a palliative setting. The essay should explore the cultural practices, beliefs and traditions of indigenous people in relation to death and dying and demonstrates an understanding of culturally sensitive nursing care in a palliative setting.

Nursing Assignment Solution on Indigenous Australian Cultural Practices


The aim of this essay is to explore the Aboriginal culture of Australia and have a deeper understanding of it, in order to analyze the cultural competency of a nurse working in palliative settings.
This essay will mainly explore different cultural practices, norms and traditions that take place in the indigenous people of Australia during dying and death ceremonies. The essay will then evaluate and analyze that how a nurse can follow neutral values and provide an apt palliative care.

Death Ceremonies practiced by Indigenous people of Australia

Aboriginal culture is one of the oldest cultures present in the world today, which has survived in the ever changing world. The tribal population of Australia is a mix of diverse groups that is composed of several cultures, kinship, living conditions and languages. It can be complicated for a nurse to understand this culture because of the diversity and numerous values that they hold. Thus, providing palliative care to these people can be a difficult task.
When it comes to death, dying and mourning, the indigenous people of Australia have different cultural practices and notions from other Australian groups. They have several religious ideologies that accompany death and dying in their culture (Korff, J., 2015).
Research suggests that while dying, indigenous people of Australia, want to remain in their homeland and live their last few days in the comfort of their homes. In fact, they follow modern technology and palliative help that helps the people to live peacefully in their last hours. It was also seen that due to modern technology, the indigenous people experience minima violence, less drinking, petrol sniffing and drug abuse. Hence, by staying in their homeland and using modern technology at the same time helps the indigenous population to enjoy the best of the both the worlds and they follow the medical advice easily (AIHW, 2011)

Read more in the complete solution PDF document at the end of this page.

Therefore, the indigenous people of Australia have several rituals and ceremonies when it comes to dying and death. They believe in religion and everything has a religious notion of it in these groups. It is also important to know that all indigenous people do not follow these ceremonies strictly. It has now become a personal opinion and practices vary from place to place. For instance, the northern territories have strict religious values and people still follow traditional ways of life and death (Tschudin, V., 2010).

Cultural Competency by the Nurse working in palliative settings with the Indigenous people of Australia

Palliative care is generally known for its comfortable environment as it caters to the patients who are suffering from serious illness and do not have major chances of surviving the illness. Thus, this kind of setting is extremely sensitive and crucial in the career of a nurse. The utmost importance of this setting is to provide by maximum comfort and easy environment for the patient. The role of nurses is extremely important in such scenarios and they have to be very particular for their task and roles in a palliative setting. Moreover, the aim of such medical requirement is to provide care rather than cure so that the quality of life of the patient can be improved. The patients can get palliative care in the comfort of their home or aged care facilities. Having cultural competency in a palliative care is another very important, crucial and indispensable task that the nurses have to follow (Australian Health minister’s advisory council, 2010).
Every culture is different; people follow different notions, rules and traditions all over the world. And a nurse can do justice to his/her profession by following cultural competence and working with objectivity. By following pre- conceived notions and stereotypical images, the nurse cannot provide holistic care even in the simplest tasks. And providing proper care to the patients in a palliative setting cannot be ignored. In the above section, several cultural practices during dying and death were explored among the indigenous people of Australia. The nurses can find them strange, difficult to understand, irrelevant and even mocking. However, such notions should be kept aside and the nurses should be empathetic with the culture of different groups. It is important to understand that ethnocentric notion is a major problem that the world is going through because everybody thinks that their culture is superior to other cultures. These ideologies should be avoided by a nurse when providing palliative settings for the indigenous people of Australia. For instance, a patient of one of the tribes of Australia does not want to spend his last days in a hospital or an elder care home. The nurse should understand this and follow up with their local culture and also have empathy with the patients. Since, this is the usual belief that ingenuous follow and they like to stay in the comfort of their 'country' at such a crucial time (WHO, 2015).
Further, during the death ceremonies, it is important for nurses to not mock over the rituals that place and disregard of such traditions should be avoided. As having notions and stereotypical thinking will not only question the medical profession, but also hurt the sentiments of the tribal population. As a nurse, the individual should be very respectful of their patients and have a sense of cultural competency in every situation. Nurses should be aware and provided with appropriate knowledge of understanding the differences in cultural practices and prevent cultural shock. This is mainly because the nurses tend to develop relations with their patients and act as the mediators between the hospital management and patients or the family. And by not understanding the sensitivity of different cultural practices, these relations can totally be destroyed and the objective of providing palliative care does not sustain (Mckinlay, M., 2014)

Read more in the complete solution PDF document at the end of this page.


The indigenous people of Australia practice a different culture in the Australian continent and its two main populations of aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders have different rituals and beliefs when it comes to mourning the death of a tribal member. These practices are very unique and a nurse who does not belong to this sect of people can find it odd or even derogatory, which is not the righteous thing to follow. However, by having a deeper understanding of the society ad avoiding stereotypical notions, proper palliative care can be provided to the indigenous people of Australia (Bowman et. al., 2010).

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