Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Nursing and Midwifery


Dr Ruth DeSouzaand Ms Suzanne Willey (Peninsula)


Not offered in 2016


This unit provides students with resources to understand their own culture, the culture of healthcare and the historical and social issues that contribute to differential health outcomes for particular groups in order to discern how to contribute to providing culturally safe care for all Australians. Australian society has an indigenous foundation and is becoming increasingly multicultural. In Victoria 26.2 percent of Victorians and 24.6 per cent of Australians were born overseas, compared with New Zealand (22.4 per cent), Canada (21.3 per cent), United States (13.5 per cent) and The United Kingdom (10.4 per cent). An important aspect of cultural safety is the recognition that the health care system has its own culture. In Australia, this culture is premised on a western scientific worldview. The unit will examine how social determinants of health such as class, gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity; education, economic status and culture affect health and illness. The influence of politics, economics, social-cultural environment and other contextual factors will be discussed, with an emphasis on how policy, planning, organisation and delivery of health and healthcare have an impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate the dominant values and beliefs that shape the organisation of health care in Australia.
  2. Discuss historical and contemporary influences on the health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  3. Discuss historical and contemporary influences on the health outcomes for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse peoples in Australia.
  4. Critically reflect on how their own cultural identity can impact on the care they provide to individuals and communities with different understandings of health from their own.
  5. Demonstrate effective communication skills and attitudes required of nurses in providing culturally safe care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse people.
  6. Apply the principles of cultural safety to nursing care.


Group poster presentation (1,000 words) (20%)
Critical reflection (1,500 words) (30%)
Written assignment (3,000 words) (50%)

Workload requirements

This is a flexible unit with compulsory on campus workshops. Two (2) hours of lecture per week (Podcast): 24 hours. Two (8) hour workshops (one for poster presentations, one for mask making):16 hours. Self-directed learning: 116 hours.

Total workload: 156 hours

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


HSC1081, HSC1072 or NUR1105, NUR1205.