The provision of culturally safe and respectful paramedic practice is dependent on acknowledgement of colonisation, systematic racism, and social, cultural, behavioural, and economic factors which impact individual and community health. This unit (HFB1001) will introduce students to the capabilities required to deliver culturally safe health care that is accessible, responsive and free from racism, bigotry and other forms of discrimination. Students will learn to recognise the importance of self-determined decision-making, partnership and collaboration through self-reflective awareness of individual racism, students' own biases, assumptions, stereotypes and prejudices. Using a strengths-based approach, students will learn and apply the five cultural capabilities of respect, communication, safety and quality, reflection and advocacy in the context of paramedic care. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health will be the primary focus of the unit, however cultural safety and cultural capability will be applied in several additional contexts including LGBTQIA+ safe care.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Identify and explain key terms and definitions in the context of delivering culturally safe health care;  
  2. Discuss the influence of one's own cultural identity and the culture of the Australian health care system on perceptions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;  
  3. Determine factors that can impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, families and communities having equal access to health services; and  
  4. Apply the principles of culturally safe practice to the care of individuals, communities and populations that are socially and culturally marginalised.  


In Assessment 1, students will work independently to prepare a cover letter for a fictional health practitioner role with an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community health service. To successfully complete Assessment 1, students will be required to demonstrate an understanding of their own cultural identity and that of the Australian health care system, and also demonstrate their understanding of the cultural capabilities required to deliver culturally safe care. In Assessment 2, students will work independently to complete two supervised tests that will comprise of lower-order, higher-order and problem solving (case-based) multiple-choice questions. In Assessment 3, students will work collaboratively in small groups to prepare a video presentation on how they would provide culturally safe care in a hypothetical scenario in the out-of-hospital setting.
Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Cover letter - Fictional health practitioner role (500 words) 20%
Test Two supervised MCQ tests (20% each): Week 2 (45 mins): Week 4 (45 mins) 40%
Presentation Problem-based group presentation (10 mins) 40%

Required reading

Yatdjuligin: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nursing and Midwifery Care 3rd ed.
Best, O., & Fredericks, B. (Eds.). (2021)
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108123754

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' Healthcare
Biles, B., & Biles, O. (2020)
Victoria: Oxford University Press

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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