Towards better preparation and support for health and social care practitioners conducting specialised assessments in remote Indigenous contexts

Melissa Lindeman, Kylie Dingwall, Di Bell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Remote health professionals encounter many challenges associated with delivering care in poorly serviced remote locations and working across cultures. Despite an identified need for the assessment practices of health and social care professionals to accommodate cultural differences, and for staff training in the area, deficits in preparing the remote workforce for assessment remain. This paper combines the results of two qualitative studies to consider current and improved approaches to preparing and supporting staff for conducting assessments in remote and Indigenous settings. Study A focused on aged care assessment practices within the remote Aboriginal context of Central Australia, and Study B focused on the practice for assessing cognition among Aboriginal Australians in the Northern Territory. Our secondary analysis of these combined data sets provides valuable information to improve planning of approaches to preparing staff for assessments in these contexts. We report themes relating to three categories: the assessment workforce, current approaches to preparing assessment staff, and cross‑cultural knowledge/skill. We discuss which areas require more detailed attention to prepare staff for this work – such as critical reflection and cultural safety – as well as how this may best be achieved – such as through the inclusion of cultural supervisors in practitioners’ supervision models, and in follow‑up components to workshop models.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)445-465
    Number of pages21
    JournalAustralian Journal of Social Issues
    Volume49
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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