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Curtin University of Technology
Building Mental Wealth Building Mental Wealth
Untitled Document

Ms Rosalie Thackrah

Culturally secure practice in midwifery education and service provision for Aboriginal women.

The concept of cultural competence and its application in clinical settings continues to be re-examined, refined and subjected to close scrutiny in the light of research and emerging evidence that links culturally informed practice to better health outcomes. Cultural competence and related concepts including cultural security and safety, is now recognised as an essential attribute of health professionals. University courses and professional competencies reflect renewed interest in the relationship between culture and health and this is particularly true in the midwifery profession. While the concept of cultural competence has broad application in diverse settings, this study focuses upon the preparation of midwifery students to provide culturally secure care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. What approaches are used to prepare midwifery students to work with and care for pregnant and birthing Aboriginal women? What factors influence student receptivity to Aboriginal cultural content? Do students perceive that they are adequately prepared to care for Aboriginal women and their babies at graduation? These questions and others will be addressed using surveys, classroom observations, and in-depth interviews with students, academics and practising midwives. While the body of knowledge about student attitudes concerning Aboriginal people and cultural content is expanding in the health professions, few, if any studies have focused upon midwifery education. Findings from this study will be compared with medical student studies and used to refine programs that facilitate culturally informed health care delivery to Aboriginal women.

Flavell, H, Thackrah, R. & Hoffman, J. (2013) Developing Indigenous Australian cultural competence: a model for implementing Indigenous content into curricula. Journal for Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability, 4 (1), 39-57.
Thackrah, R. & Thompson, S. (2013) Confronting uncomfortable truths: receptivity and resistance to Aboriginal content in midwifery education. Contemporary Nurse: Issues in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Care, 46, 113-122
Thackrah, R. & Thompson, S. (2013) Refining the concept of cultural competence: building on decades of progress. The Medical Journal of Australia. 199 (1), 35-38.
Thackrah, R. & Thompson, S. (2013). 'Friendly racism' and white guilt: midwifery students' engagement with Aboriginal content in their program. Forum on Public Policy, Vol. 2013, (2).