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Introduction: Job Application

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Discipline and Candidacy for cultural liaison

A "cultural liaison" in the "NSW community program" is a person who serves as a bridge between people of different cultural backgrounds, helping them to communicate and understand each other better. The job of cultural liaison lies in the context of providing linguistic as well as cultural support to people from different cultural backgrounds (Bnads et al., 2021). Another role is helping with the development and implementation of services and programs that are culturally responsive and appropriate to the needs of different communities. A cultural liaison also provides training and education to service providers and community members on cultural competence and diversity issue (Mackean et al., 2020).

As a candidate with a Bachelor of Health Science discipline, I could make an excellent candidate for the role of cultural liaison within the NSW Health Service due to my understanding of health systems, and knowledge of health policies. As a candidate, I have effective cross-cultural communication skills that are essential for a cultural liaison, which can help them, bridge the communication gap between different cultural groups and ensure that information is being conveyed effectively. The discipline has made me competent in placing a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion, as health disparities can disproportionately affect marginalized communities, as candidates with this background may have a greater understanding of the needs of diverse communities, which could be particularly helpful in promoting equity and inclusion within the health service (Bailey et al., 2021).

Linking theories 

"Cultural competency" refers to the ability of healthcare providers to understand and effectively work with patients from diverse cultural backgrounds. Cultural competency is critical for ensuring that patients receive high-quality care that is sensitive to their unique needs and circumstances (Greene-Moton & Minkler, 2020). The theory of "human rights" asserts that every person has the right to access quality healthcare, regardless of their background or circumstances. This theory emphasizes the importance of healthcare equity, which is achieved by ensuring that every person has equal access to healthcare services (Shepherd, 2019). Further, the theory of social determinants holds that social and economic factors, such as income, education, housing, and access to healthcare, have a significant impact on a person's health outcomes. This theory underscores the importance of addressing social and economic inequalities in order to improve overall health outcomes (Lines & Jardine, 2019).

The linking of these with cultural competency results in a comprehensive approach to healthcare that is grounded in the principles of equity and inclusivity. Culturally competent healthcare providers take into account the social and economic factors that may be contributing to a patient's health outcomes and work to address these factors in a culturally sensitive manner. This approach is particularly important for patients from diverse cultural backgrounds, who may face unique challenges in accessing healthcare services and achieving positive health outcomes.

Five key constructs of cultural competency

The "five key constructs" of "cultural competency" includes cultural respect, awareness, safety, humility and responsiveness. These key constructs within the "NSW Health Service" ensures an understanding of how cultural differences can impact health outcomes as well as the provision of a non-discriminatory and safe environment for patients from diverse cultural backgrounds (Bruno et al., 2019). It also emphasizes treating patients with dignity and respect, regardless of their cultural background. It also ensures providing care that is tailored to the cultural preferences and needs of individual patients. Another key construct ensures respecting and acknowledging the limitations of one's own cultural knowledge and seeking to learn from patients and colleagues from diverse backgrounds in the healthcare system (Forsyth et al., 2020).

As a candidate in the "Bachelor of Health Science" discipline, I have learned to support cultural awareness by seeking out training programs and resources that increase my understanding of how cultural differences impact health outcomes. For instance, I have attended workshops on cultural awareness and read relevant literature, such as the "Cultural Competence Framework" developed by the "NSW Health Service" (Ji et al., 2019). I have the potential to create an equitable and secure environment for patients coming from diverse cultural backgrounds by respecting different cultural traditions, using inclusive language, and addressing unconscious biases. As a student of health science, my discipline has taught me to show cultural respect by treating patients with esteem and nobility by listening to their concerns and valuing their cultural practices and beliefs. The guidelines of “Multicultural Health Communication Service” have helped me to learn how to communicate effectively with patients from different cultural backgrounds and provide culturally "responsive care" in different clinical settings (Curtis et al., 2019). 

As a candidate, I have a complete awareness of my attitudes, beliefs and experiences that might affect interactions with patients from different cultures. It has been seen that effective communication is essential for building rapport with patients by familiarizing the healthcare providers with the resources available to assist with communication and language barriers, such as interpreter services or translated health information (Seaton et al., 2021). Ongoing development and learning are crucial in every aspect of healthcare services, similarly, cultural competence is an ongoing process, and health professionals should seek to continually improve their cultural understanding and skills. 

Professional Guidelines and cultural safety

As a student of health science, my professional policies and guidelines play a crucial role in promoting cultural safety within healthcare. Cultural safety refers to the acceptance and respect of cultural differences and the creation of an inclusive and safe healthcare environment for all patients (Brophy?Williams et al., 2020). The "Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency" (AHPRA) has developed a range of codes of conduct and professional standards that health professionals in providing effective, safe, and culturally appropriate care. These standards and codes demand health professionals respect the cultural backgrounds and beliefs of their patients and communicate effectively with patients from different cultures (Camit, 2021). Further, the "National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards" provides a framework for improving and assessing the quality of healthcare in Australia. These standards ensure cultural safety by providing an inclusive environment for patients from varying cultures.

In addition, the "NSW Health Multicultural Health Communication Service" provides support and resources to healthcare providers to improve cultural safety and communication in the healthcare system. Moreover, these services also provide interpreter facilities in over 120 languages, health information in a translated form as well as training programs to increase cultural competency (Brophy?Williams et al., 2020). The service provides a range of health information resources translated into a variety of languages, including brochures, fact sheets, and posters for patients from "culturally and linguistically diverse" (CALD) backgrounds. 

Further, the "Cultural Respect Framework" for "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health" provides guidance for health professionals working with Indigenous populations in Australia (OOS, 2019). This framework emphasizes the importance of cultural safety in healthcare and provides guidance on how to incorporate cultural safety into healthcare practice. This includes recognizing the importance of cultural practices and beliefs and involving Indigenous communities and patients in healthcare decision-making. 

Facilitators and Barriers to cultural safety 

There is a range of facilitators and barriers to cultural safety in the field of health science. It has been found that language barriers can make it difficult for staff to communicate effectively with patients from different backgrounds, leading to miscommunications and misunderstandings that can negatively impact patient care (Berg et al., 2019). In addition, cultural biases and assumptions can impact the quality of care and trust between staff and patients. Healthcare staff who lack knowledge and understanding of the cultural values, beliefs, and practices of patients from varying backgrounds may struggle to provide "culturally responsive care". Systematic and structural barriers such as prejudice, racism, and discrimination can negatively impact the experiences and health outcomes of patients from different backgrounds, and make it difficult for staff to provide culturally competent and safe care. 

The provision of cultural competency education and training for staff helps them better understand the experiences and needs of patients from varying cultural backgrounds. This improves the skills and knowledge of staff leading to the development of respect and trusts with better communication between patient and staff (Yaphe et al., 2019). It has been found that professional interpreter services also facilitate cultural safety by encouraging effective communication and overcoming language barriers between patients and staff. Culturally responsive procedures and policies in the field of health science ensure that staffs are providing culturally safe care that respects the beliefs, values, and practices of patients by creating a welcoming and respectful environment.

Health theories 

The understanding of health theories like human rights and social determinants helps me to analyze the health needs of different communities and to design interventions that are culturally appropriate and effective (Mackean et al., 2020). As a health science student, with a strong foundation in health theories, I can apply the knowledge to design and implement effective health promotion programs that target specific cultural groups. I have disciplinary expertise in areas such as public health, nursing, occupational therapy, and nutrition, can help develop culturally appropriate health education materials and design a community-wide health promotion campaign. A cultural liaison must understand the concept of cultural safety and how it relates to healthcare, as a student of health science (Bnads et al., 2021). I have an understanding of "culturally safe care" to identify potential cultural safety issues and work to address them. The importance of understanding cultural competence is extremely important for a candidate to be a cultural liaison. 

References

  • Bailey, J., Blignault, I., Renata, P., Naden, P., Nathan, S., & Newman, J. (2021). Barriers and enablers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander careers in health: A qualitative, multisector study in western New South Wales. Australian Journal of Rural Health29(6), 896-908. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ajr.12764
  • Berg, K., McLane, P., Eshkakogan, N., Mantha, J., Lee, T., Crowshoe, C., & Phillips, A. (2019). Perspectives on Indigenous cultural competency and safety in Canadian hospital emergency departments: A scoping review. International Emergency Nursing43, 133-140. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1755599X19300114
  • Bnads, H., Orr, E., & Clements, C. J. (2021). Improving the service to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders through innovative practices between Aboriginal hospital liaison officers and social workers in hospitals in Victoria, Australia. The British Journal of Social Work51(1), 77-95. https://academic.oup.com/bjsw/article-abstract/51/1/77/5849170
  • Brophy?Williams, S., Boylen, S., Gill, F. J., Wilson, S., & Cherian, S. (2020). Use of professional interpreters for children and families with limited English proficiency: The intersection with quality and safety. Journal of paediatrics and child health56(8), 1201-1209. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jpc.14880
  • Bruno, B., Recchiuto, C. T., Papadopoulos, I., Saffiotti, A., Koulouglioti, C., Menicatti, R., ... & Sgorbissa, A. (2019). Knowledge representation for culturally competent personal robots: requirements, design principles, implementation, and assessment. International Journal of Social Robotics11, 515-538. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12369-019-00519-w
  • Camit, M. C. (2021). Health communication and social media in multicultural Australia: the experiences of CALD community leaders in using social media to improve health outcomes for their communities (Doctoral dissertation). https://opus.lib.uts.edu.au/handle/10453/149018
  • Curtis, E., Jones, R., Tipene-Leach, D., Walker, C., Loring, B., Paine, S. J., & Reid, P. (2019). Why cultural safety rather than cultural competency is required to achieve health equity: a literature review and recommended definition. International journal for equity in health18(1), 1-17. https://equityhealthj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12939-019-1082-3?fbclid=IwAR2M64CokYxJ6i2Z2FBN9dKftUbv8AWgWgMMSIWMoyW_OPV1o3dtrjHJCws
  • Forsyth, C., Short, S. D., Irving, M., Tennant, M., & Gilroy, J. (2020). Navigating the Cultural Interface to Develop a Model for Dentistry Education: Cultural Competence Curricula in Dentistry Education. Transforming Lives and Systems: Cultural Competence and the Higher Education Interface, 51-62. https://library.oapen.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.12657/39548/1/2020_Book_TransformingLivesAndSystems.pdf#page=55
  • Greene-Moton, E., & Minkler, M. (2020). Cultural competence or cultural humility? Moving beyond the debate. Health promotion practice21(1), 142-145. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1524839919884912
  • Ji, M., Taibi, M., & Crezee, I. H. (Eds.). (2019). Multicultural health translation, interpreting and communication. Routledge. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=GwaQDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT11&dq=Multicultural+Health+communication+services&ots=fSEmkEMxt-&sig=GYoQZJJFyUzI5tnuspe5bShvmIs
  • Lines, L. A., & Jardine, C. G. (2019). Connection to the land as a youth-identified social determinant of Indigenous Peoples’ health. BMC Public Health19(1), 1-13. https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-018-6383-8
  • Mackean, T., Withall, E., Dwyer, J., & Wilson, A. (2020). Role of Aboriginal Health Workers and Liaison Officers in quality care in the Australian acute care setting: a systematic review. Australian Health Review44(3), 427-433. https://www.publish.csiro.au/ah/ah19101
  • OOS, R. (2019). National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Standing Committee (NATSIHSC). https://www.pc.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/245851/sub104-indigenous-evaluation.pdf
  • Seaton, J., Jones, A., Johnston, C., & Francis, K. (2021). Allied health professionals’ perceptions of interprofessional collaboration in primary health care: an integrative review. Journal of Interprofessional Care35(2), 217-228. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13561820.2020.1732311
  • Shepherd, S. M. (2019). Cultural awareness workshops: limitations and practical consequences. BMC Medical Education19(1), 1-10. https://bmcmededuc.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12909-018-1450-5?fbclid=IwAR2ET-cJvhwmNznRJS_tC9PC8A-kMYLK0EQGlgrWF5fazhWIbskd1HHRBk0
  • Yaphe, S., Richer, F., & Martin, C. (2019). Cultural Safety training for health professionals working with Indigenous populations in Montreal, Quebec. International Journal of Indigenous Health14(1), 60-84. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12889-021-11335-1
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